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The two theoretical perspectives I enjoyed reading about were the open system and contingency theory. I felt these theories were very different in their approach to systems. The open systems theory looks at all parts that make a system operate well like the energy, external factors, materials and employee characteristics (Lewis et al., 2012). The open systems theory has different types of systems such as open, closed, adaptive and nonadaptive (Lewis et al., 2012). Rather than looking at all parts of the system and categorizing the parts, the contingency theory wants to take in account all elements. The contingency theory does not believe there is one correct way to build a design (Lewis et al., 2012). When comparing these theories, they can be similar. Both evaluate the interaction between two aspects. The open systems theory will look at the effects of the environment and the contingency theory will evaluate the organization and external world (Lewis et al., 2012). If I was working under the open systems theory, I feel that my work life would be affected by many aspects out of my control or through the lens of the program as a whole. The textbook mentioned a positive aspect of the open systems is that employees are a part of an integrated network. In a human service agency, it could feel very separated by program, clients served and more so this does seem like a positive aspect. The contingency theory seems to be high in evaluation and plans for its future. For my clients and community, I feel the contingency theory would be helpful because where I live is a smaller town that is very spread out. The contingency theory can outline all the different aspects to consider for a human service organization in a small town. For the open systems theory, I feel it would be helpful to evaluate how the organization is doing as different types. For instance, one could look at the organization as adaptive versus non adaptive or open versus closed. This can help the organization make practical decisions for the clients.
Lewis, J., Packard, T., & Lewis, M. T. (2012). Management of human service programs (5th ed.).
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