Organizational Management Metaphors

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					  A Review of Hatch’s
 “Organization Theory:
 Modern, Symbolic, and
Postmodern Perspectives”

       Nic Weatherly
     Why Study Organization
 Managers must be able to comprehend,
  apply, and build upon a wide array of
  organizational decisions
 Concerns:
       Why Study Organization
 Understanding the theories of others and how
  they developed them will allow for functional
    Focus on continuous improvement of theory and applications
 Organization theory requires both the mastery
  of existing theories and personal development
  of the methods and skills of theorizing
Histories, Metaphors, and Perspectives
        in Organization Theory
     Classical Period Perspective:
      Machine metaphor
      View of an Organization:
          A machine designed and constructed by
           management to achieve predefined goals
      View of Management:
        Engineers who design, build, and operate the
         organizational machine
Histories, Metaphors, and Perspectives
        in Organization Theory
     Modern Perspective:
      Organism metaphor
      View of an Organization:
          A living system that performs the functions
           necessary to survival, including adaptation to a
           hostile world
      View of Management:
        An interdependent part of an adaptive system
Histories, Metaphors, and Perspectives
        in Organization Theory
     Symbolic-interpretive Perspective:
       Culture metaphor
       View of an Organization:
          A pattern of meanings created and maintained
           by human association through shared values,
           traditions, and customs
      View of Management:
        An artifact who would like to be a symbol of the
Histories, Metaphors, and Perspectives
        in Organization Theory
     Postmodern Perspective:
        Collage metaphor
        View of an Organization:
           An organization theory is a collage made from bits of
            knowledge and understanding brought together to form a
            new perspective that has reference to the past
        View of Management:
           A theorist as an artist
         The Environment of
 First, define the organization or respective level
  of the organization you’re analyzing
 Second, identify the links between the
  organization (or level) and other organizations
  (or levels) that can influence environmental
         The Environment of
 Third, identify the variables responsible for
  changes resulting from these relations
 Finally, identify the areas in need of
  improvement within this analysis.
             The Environment of
   Relation to Behavior Systems Analysis
       Steps of BSA:
        1.   Analyze the natural contingencies responsible for the
             target behavior(s)
        2.   Specify the performance objectives
        3.   Design an intervention (based on the above analyses)
        4.   Implement the intervention
        5.   Evaluate the intervention
        6.   Recycle until performance objectives are reached
          Strategy and Goals
 Modernist views dominate the study of
  organizational strategy
 Main view of strategy:
  Strategic management provides a link
    between the organization and its
    environment through which information and
    influence pass
     i.e. continuous analysis of variables and
       interlocking behavioral contingencies
 An organization is directly dependent on
  the output of certain technologies
 These outputs permit the organization to
  obtain further inputs
  e.g. Revenue
 Behavior analytical comparison:
  Goal-directed systems design
     Input-Process-Output model
Organizational Social Structure
         and Culture
 Hierarchy of authority:
   Defines formal reporting relationships
   These only account for some of the interactions
    necessary to support an organization
 Behavior analysis - Cultural change model:
   In order to change the process and product variables
    at one level of an organization (e.g. the line workers)
    you must change the variables at all applicable
    levels (e.g. other departments, management)
     The Physical Structure of
 Designed with a geography and a layout of
  workspaces, equipment, and employees
 Physical aspects have important implications
  for the behavior of the people involved in the
  organizational community
 Structural symbolism:
    Architecture designed to make a strong/intimidating
     visual statement
    Symbols designed to show a visual depiction of the
     organizations identity (mission)
    Organizational Decision
   Making, Power, and Politics
 Power:
   Flows into an organization from the
    environment by virtue of changing
    environmental demands and opportunities
 Politics:
   Can create conflict out of nearly any
    situation and will do so if the stakes are high
 Conflict and Contradiction in
 Opposition to cooperation:
  “Negative manifestations” of conflict
    undermine cooperation
      Destroys trust
      Closing channels of communication
   Behavior analytical perspective:
      Conditional probability
     Aversive control
     Procedural/treatment integrity
       Control and Ideology in
 Contingency model of control:
   Manage conflict so as to produce the benefits of
    optimal “stimulation of ideas”
   Strengthen “intragroup cohesiveness”
   Minimize negative effects of uncooperative behavior

 Obviously very mentalistic
   Main points:
       Proper analysis and monitoring of individual contingencies
       Cultural change
       The Behavior-Based Safety approach
        Control and Ideology in
 Cybernetic model of control:
   Application of systems theory
   Outlines how control of organizational activities can
    be achieved through setting standards, monitoring
    activities/outcome, and providing feedback
 Agency model of control:
   Focuses on the tendency of agents to avoid
    responsibilities by subverting the control systems
    that make performance evaluation possible
 Understanding various perspectives of
  organizational theory may be beneficial to the
  understanding unique organizational cultures
 However, Hatch’s analyses of various
  theoretical perspectives demonstrate the heavy
  mentalistic emphasis dominating mainstream
  organizational solutions
    With this in mind, trying to collaborate with
     theorists from these perspectives may hinder the
     proper application of sound empirical organizational
 The End

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