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Eight Metaphors to Describe Organization according to Gareth

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Tamika Singletary

on 14 September 2013

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Transcript of Eight Metaphors to Describe Organization according to Gareth

Images of Organization
by: Tamika Singletary

Organization as Brain
Organizations of Culture
"...the pattern of development reflected in a society's system of knowledge, ideology, values, laws, and day-to-day ritual"
Eight Metaphors to Describe Organization according to Gareth Morgan
Organizations as Brain
When you hear of the word "brain", what do you think of?
Word Processor
Single - Loop Learning
(negative feedback used to detect/correct errors: Cybernetic rules: scans, compares, initiate)
Double-Loop Learning
"leaning to learn"
(Requires regular reviews and challenges the
basic paradigms and norms)

An organization can be a system of parts able to self-organize and regenerate. How?

Holographic Brains
Information system communication system,
decision-making systems

Originally known as "the decision-making approach"

- processes data and translates into patterns and routines, over centralizes the working process

Self Organize and evolve along with emerging challenges (flexible, resilient, and inventive)
Criticisms of information processing approach
Incomplete information
Bias toward left brain thinking
Changing technology
Challenges of Learning Organizations
Single looping
- undesirable correction could result if change or problem is outside the set limit

Double looping:

Seems to hide the problem
Forces of resistance
The brain metaphor is working in a normative way - telling us that it is to be used also where it is quite inappropriate

Build the whole into parts
Implement redundancy
Define few details in new initiatives
Employ double loop learning
historical context (norms, values, ideals,etc.)
Gender - a vast majority of managerial style and thinking are still rooted in male norms, values, and ideals (female thinking - "web of inclusion)
Managerial style- managers do not have a total control over culture creation but can dominate a large portion
(read article on the different managerial styles)
Conclusion of the Organization as a Culture
Useful in allowing members of an organization to recognize shared systems of meaning
Processes, rituals, or other organizational - shape the overall cultural landscape
Change may cause rifts
Organizations as Political Systems
-members' fight for their special interest
Organizations create rules in order to create and maintain order amongst their members
arises whenever interest collide
To understand the day by day political dynamics of an organization, analyze it in a systematic way by focusing on relations between
, and
is the medium through which conflicts of interest are ultimately resolved; it influences who gets what, when and how
task interest
(how one performs,
personal interest
(personal attitudes, values, beliefs, etc.), and
career interest
Fourteen Sources of Power
1. formal authority

2. Scare resources

3. use of organizational structure,
rules, and regulations

4. Control of decision processes

5. Control of knowledge and information

6. Control of boundaries

7. Ability to cope with uncertainty
8. Control of technology

9.. Interpersonal alliances, networks, and
control of "informal organization"

1o. Control of counter organizations

11. Symbolism and the management of meaning

12.. Gender and the management of gender relation

13.. Structural factors that define the stage of action

14.. The power one already has.
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