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    Open and closed systems

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    The Impact of Systems Theory
    Veronica Rangel
    Capella University

    All things can be viewed as a system and/or as part of a system, composed of systems and interfacing with other systems. Systems show a circular and cyclic quality to their functioning. Certain principles apply to all systems while other principles are unique to specific types of systems. All are interconnected and affect other systems to varying degrees. All systems are constantly changing and are in dynamic balance with each other. Systems theory summarizes concepts that apply to all systems. The proof is self-evident from observation and testing the applicability of systems theory to all systems. Systems theory is useful when approaching complex problems. Most of us use a systems approach for problem solving, although it is rarely labeled as such. Systems theory is quite logical and is compatible with our experience; however, it can be neither proven nor disproved by the traditional scientific method. Since systems are very complex and impacted by an infinite number of other systems, we can never attain total predictability of effects. Such a view is an open systems model. In contrast, a closed system model assumes that everything does not affect everything, there are a finite number of variables that impact an outcome, and therefore, outcome is totally predictable. An open system model still affords us some capacity to predict. We can create a hierarchy of the system variables that appear to have greatest impact upon an event. When we organize these variables, it improves our statistical capacity to predict although we are never able to attain total predictability. If those involved in problem solving remain open-minded and use an open, multi-system approach, we can benefit from others' perspectives and expertise. Occasionally, however, some use a closed system, a rigid, dogmatic approach to complex issues with the view that absolute truths and predictability exist. Although simple solutions to complex problems are initially comforting, they prevent us from being open to the full complexity of any given problem and may cause problems that are even more complex.

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    Solution Preview

    Everything in nature can be viewed as a system and/or as part of a system, composed of systems and interfacing with other systems. Systems show a circular and cyclic quality to their functioning. Certain principles apply to all systems while other principles are unique to specific types of systems. All are interconnected and affect other systems to varying degrees. All systems are constantly changing and are in dynamic balance with each other. Systems' theory summarizes concepts that apply to all systems. The proof is self-evident ...

    Solution Summary

    Open and closed systems are examined. The impact of systems theory is determined.

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