Transition from Closed to Open Systems


In the past, many managers and health officials made use of closed systems to solve the issues arising, but because of the changing organizational environment, they are currently adopting open systems to deal with the issues (Marquis & Huston, 2012). A closed system refers to a system, which looks at the internal factors in an organization that influence decisions while an open system considers the external factors (Encyclopedia of Management, 2006). This paper will focus on work force supply for health centers and hospitals. The paper will analyze staff shortage in health organizations as a problem in the sector from a closed system perspective and proceed to suggesting solutions using the open system approach.

Of late, health organizations have had problems attracting personnel. The American Hospital Association currently faces a severe shortage of nurses. It also experiences shortage in other personnel such as pharmacists, housekeepers, cleaners, medical coders, and others. This short supply is because of changing times; for example, under the current economic conditions many people prefer doing other jobs to working in hospitals where the payment is insufficient. This has discouraged volunteers who were a grand asset to health organizations. Therefore, health organizations must offer competitive pay to attract staff (The American Hospital Association, n.d.).

One can view the problem from a closed system perspective. The organizations require an array of skilled employees to perform its core activities. Essential to each of these functions is members of the staff, community volunteers, and others. Therefore, the primary aim of health care is delivering medical help to those who are in need of it (McCormack, Manley & Walsh, 2008). From a closed system approach, a health care organization focuses on hiring people who possess the skills required for performing organization activities, without necessarily looking at the external factors surrounding the process of staff selection.

In order to solve the problem of attracting and retaining labor force in health organizations, the policy makers in these facilities have to admit that they cannot control external factors. They should transform from a closed system to an open one and analyze all external factors relevant to the problem. Some of the issues include technology and economic circumstances. As for technology, many of the young people find it attractive and enjoyable to work in an organization that utilizes the latest technological developments (Fasoli, 2010). Managers of the health organizations can embrace technology changes and apply them to the health care system. This will attract young staff and remedy the issue of staff deficiency since the employees will not need to perform enormous work due to the help of the new technology. It is also possible to offer competitive remuneration to attract the work force. These external factors could influence the solution to the problem from an open system perspective (Johnson, Miller, & Horowitz, 2010).

This modification could help other staff, and me to improve health care outcomes. It is virtually impossible to carry out all health care tasks efficiently considering the shortage in workforce. Paying a competitive salary as an open system strategy will keep health care staff motivated and this will have positive results (Pronovost, et al, 2002). Adopting the new technology and planning for it will facilitate one’s work in the health care sector and increase the speed of service delivery, which will help health care organizations maintain low workforce, and still offer excellent services (Tucker, et al, 2008; Meyer & Pallas, 2010).

In conclusion, organizations that use the closed systems in making of decisions are finding it difficult to solve issues using the approach. This is because of the many external factors that influence the problems. To tackle issue effectively, managers are transforming from closed systems to open systems, which focus on the external factors. This is also the case in many health care organizations where they can solve staff recruitment problems using the open system approach.


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