Enables the behavior of people in organizations to be examined from different view points which are characterized by conflicting and competing assumptions and interests The way we analyses is influenced by the way we understand organizations: There are a number of different types of metaphors that are used to understand the complex nature of organizations. As participants (either as employees or managers) we need to be careful not to depend solely on one particular perspective as we interpret the actions of people in any organization.
Machine/Organism metaphor The machine metaphor emphasizes the mechanistic nature of organizations and is often associated with the classical management perspective The organism metaphor presents an image that organizations operate and function as an organic system that needs to be adaptive if it’s to survive. This metaphor is closely related to the human relations school of management theory. Common assumptions: Organizations are purpose drive instruments which function as a means to attain identifiable goals or ends A common purpose characterizes organizational actions
Organizational structure is the product of managerial action Managerial action is a technical and neutral activity Conflict is pathological Strategic choice is the outcome of managing functional responsibility Organizations as machines (classical management) Organizations as organisms (human relations) Primary concerns Prerogative of MGM. Universal principles Technical aspects of MGM. Rational nature of people Physiological Psychological Social needs of individuals Primary values Efficiency & effectiveness Enable organizations and individuals to satisfy their needs and goals Typical concepts
Formal design, rules and procedures Needs Adaptations Political/Cultural Metaphor Political metaphor promotes the view that organizations can be perceived as political systems. Organizations better understood as environments where participants compete to achieve their personal or group objectives and interest, Culture metaphor centers on the social/group nature of all action and meaning and views organizations as the product of how relations between cultural members are organized. Common assumptions: Org.
Contested terrains in which actions reflect the meanings, interest and concerns f a broad range of actors Organizations as politics Organizations as cultural Where power is located How power is used How negotiated order is used To clarify the social basis for action Emphasis the political dimension of organizational life Social construction of meanings Typical concepts Interest conflict and power tactics Meanings beliefs and values Rituals and ceremony Symbols and myths Action of individuals reflect meanings, interests, concerns Human beings are not passive recipients of what other require Organizations are the product of organizing relations Human beings are “meaning creating” beings