What Is Open Systems Theory in Museums?

July 15, 2021


Yuha Jung

In my new book, Transforming Museum Management, I propose a theory of change based on open systems theory and Buddhist concept of mutual causality to transform museums to be more inclusive and relevant to their local communities. Open systems theory, originally developed by Ludwig von Bertanlanffy, presents the concept that organizations, such as museums, are heavily influenced by their environment emphasizing dynamic interdependence among different parts of the museum as well as with their external environment. The interdependent nature of organizations emphasized in open systems theory explains the following: transformational changes happen when internal actors listen to diverse external voices and make changes both mentally and structurally through democratic and inclusive processes.

If you’re interested in exploring more about these ideas and purchasing the book, use the discount code SMA05 (also below) and apply at checkout when you purchase the book here.


I am an associate professor and the director of graduate studies of Arts Administration at the University of Kentucky. I am a devoted educator and researcher who is passionate about studying museums and social and cultural justice issues around the arts and cultural organizations and teaching students about them. I primarily teach financial management 

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