How Open Systems Theory is Relevant to Agile

At the beginning of the twentieth century, a science for understanding and managing organizations was being formed. Frederick Taylor, considered as the first ever management consultant, did extensive studies to improve productivity by analysing production tasks and implemented them successfully in several factories. Around the same time, Max Weber developed his theories on ‘Bureaucracy’ and Henry Fayol, his ‘Principles on Administration’. Management Science was thus born and the primary concern remained with goals, structure and efficiency. This science has it’s roots in the idea of a Newtonian clockwork universe – that all systems work according to some predetermined rules that keep them working as well-oiled machines. It was also believed that to understand any system, we have to break it down into its parts, which is nothing but analytical thinking. When organizations are thought of as machines, it has its implications on how we understand organizations and the sub-systems within – as closed systems.



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