Critical Book Review Based On Images Of Organization Assignment Sample

Exploring the Metaphor of Organization as Machine & Its Strategic Implications

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Introduction Of Critical Book Review Based On Images Of Organization

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The report is revolving around the metaphor discussed in the book Images of organization, written by Gareth Morgan. The Foundation of the book is on a very easy principle, that all hypotheses and principles of management and organization are based on inherent images or metaphors that stretch individual imagination in a technique that can form influential insights, although at the risk of alteration (Winter and Szczepanek, 2017). The report is made on one metaphor from this book which is “organization as machine”. The report is providing an understanding of organizational structure as a machine. The report also discusses challenges faced by the mechanistic organization and how to overcome these challenges.

Write about the metaphor of why it is chosen for the organization

A metaphor is a form of language that explains something by saying it's rather else. To manage and understand an organization various organizational theories and principles are made, and all these theories and principles are based on the implicit metaphor or image (Örtenblad 2016). The use of metaphor impliesa way of thinkinganda way of seeing that pervades the understanding of world generally. Gareth Morgan wrote a book named “Images of the Organization’’, this book states eight types of organizational metaphors or images. These eight metaphors are:

  • Organization as machine
  • Brains
  • Culture
  • Political system
  • Psychic prison
  • Flux and Transformation
  • Domination instrument
  • Organism

Figure 1Critical Book Review Based On Images Of Organization

The report has chosen organization as a machine metaphor for the research. This metaphor has portrayed an organization as a machine and this is chosen because an organization is a sequence of linked parts prearranged in a reasonable order to accomplish particular goals. Morgan makes clear derivation of the mechanistic outlook of organizations beneath the effort of Max Webber, Henry Fayol, and F.W. Taylor. Their work presents the organization with a mechanistic view of our work in a routine, efficient and predictable manner.

Define organization structure

The methodical assignment of human capital inside an organization to achieve communal business objectives is recognized as organizational structure (OS). It explains every employee's odd jobs and tasks so that occupation and information are communicated with no trouble also allow an organization's competent operation (Winnubst, 2017). The organizational structure includes a major element of the workplace environment such as delegations of authority and responsibility, level of the hierarchy, departmentalization, ratio of management, etc. There are various types of organizational structures in the organization, which are given in figure 2:

Figure 2 Types of organizational structure

Types of organizational structure

Which organizational structure fit with the metaphor?

Organization as a machine metaphor fits into the democratic organizational structure, a bureaucratic organizational structure is a structure of tight regulation and a high degree of a chain of command in the work operations. This is also called a hierarchal organizational structure, all policies and working are based on a predefined hierarchy in the organizations. It includes high centralization and formalization in every organizational function. The mechanistic structure is described by Max Webber, Henry Fayol, and F.W. Taylor in their studies. They stated mechanistic organizational structure is more predictable, effective, and efficient as well as reliable (Smircich, 2017). This structure is rigid, if the work is urgent still it has to follow every step in the hierarchy of process. This model lacks creativity and innovation because everything is already planned. This model is based on the centralized model, in this major decisions are taken by the top level of management. An employee is allowed to communicate with their immediate boss and subordinate only, it reduces the coordination among the team members.

Figure 3 principle of Bureaucratic Theory

principle of Bureaucratic Theory

What are the features of the metaphor in organization structure?

Features of mechanistic organizational structure are given below:

  • Centralized decision-making: in a mechanistic organizational structure all corporate-level decisions are taken by top-level management without any involvement of lower-level management (Morgan, 2016). It leads to fast decision-making but at the same time demotivates the lower level of employees because their options are not considered.
  • Standardization and formalization:The extent of formal and open expression of institute policies, job descriptions, and practices, norms are called as formalization. Arrangement that contain a lot of printed rules and policy are supposed to be formalized composition. It reduces the confusion and ambiguity in performing duties at work. Mechanistic coordination use printed rules to standardize worker conduct, departure limited room for human resources to make personal decisions.
  • Hierarchical level: In a mechanistic structure, there is a high number of levels in the organizational structure. There are several layers in the management of the organization. In this type of structure, a small number of employees report to each manager, so the manager can supervise and control their subordinate's activities.

What is the connection between organizational structure and the metaphor?

For two key causes, mechanistic group favor formalized construction. As an alternative of being formless, it diminishes organizational unpredictability and improves certainty. Almost all procedure and actions should be formally allowable in a much planned manner, mechanistic structure (Hare 2017). It views practices and protocols that depart from those approved practice as variation that should be bring under control, indicating that executive in all transactions be supposed to be done by subsequent such complete applied, regulations, or commands.

A mechanistic managerial structure allows employee actions more unavoidable while attractive standardization inside the organization. For instance, a worker is known about handling sales returns from client or accommodating credit license payments. Formalization allows organizations to get better at performance. In addition it distinguishes limits to new chances for improvement and new ideas, while difference is not permissible or expectant. As a result, a mechanistic organization does not hold up or adjust quickly to changes in theexternal environment. Therefore a mechanistic nature of directorial structure is finest suited for big organizations which function in further constant environments wherever it facilitate to exploit organizational competence while reducing the charge all the way through formalization and centralized managerial. Traditional management hypothesis recognize an organization as an engine. Classical theories highlight the necessity for governance within organizationsensuing in the need of space for imagination and innovativeness. Consequently, Classical management theories give confidence to a mechanistic category of managerial structure.

What are the strategic challenges faced by organization (with the metaphor)

Every kind of metaphor of organization face different strategic challenges, mechanistic organization faces the following strategic challenges in their operations:

  • Deficiency of adaptability: Mechanistic organizations face difficulty in adapting to changes according to their external environment (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2019). They lack to cop with sudden changes in the working environment, but this kind of organization generally has backup plans to reduce the impact of uncertainties in the organization
  • Autocratic leadership style: This kind of leadership style in mechanistic organizations discourages lower-level employees and does not consider them involved in decision-making. It negatively impacts team members because they have to follow whatever decision is imposed without listing to their needs and suggestions.
  • Limited autonomy: Due to the rigidity of their roles, mechanistic organizations may be demanding for innovative people to work, yet many of these employees have occupations that are more analytical than creative.

Explain strategic challenges related to the functional level, business level, corporate level, and international level?

Strategic challenges faced by the mechanistic organization are divided into four levels of the organization's strategy

  • Functional level: These challenges are related to the efficiency of an organization's functions inside departments. These challenges are mainly related to the marketing strategy, research and development, and human resource management of the organization (Schrimpe-Rutledge 2016). Mechanism organization faces many functional-level challenges such as slow decision-making and inflexible and rigid human management strategy. Employees get demotivated and their moral go down because of rigid rule and regulation in the department, this is the main functional-level challenge faced by the organization.
  • Business level: business level challenges are mainly related to the competition and system processes in the organization. The organization faces a lack of flexibility in its working at the business level, it follows strict protocols related to all business-level activities. All these sequences of protocol create challenges in the path of growth of the organization.
  • Corporate level: corporate level strategic management refers to making a strategic decision for multi- tiers of the organization, manager defines a specific outline and objective for each business line (Schoeneborn 2016). The mechanistic organization faces keeping up with market transformation because it follows a large number of layers in the communication in the organization.
  • International level: Mechanistic organization faces some international challenges as well; it includes language barriers, cultural differences, managing global teams with rigid rules, etc. limited autonomy and autocratic leadership style make these challenges more difficult to deal with.

The recommendation is in the form of an offer for the organizations dealing with challenges

To overcome the above-mentioned challenges a mechanistic structure should make sure every employee knows their role. Every role from entry-level to the top level is clearly defined and communicated to all the employees. It will help in creating a clear vision in departments and increase coordination among them. To overcome a communicational barrier in the organization, businesses can establish a good communication platform. The organization can also handle these challenges by holding regular departments meetings.


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