Machine Metaphore Essay

1770 WordsApr 13, 20098 Pages
With the high pace of technological developments, the human being is facing more and more complicated tasks and ideas to deal with. Sackmann describes metaphor as a management tool for its power in communication (1989).Metaphor is one of the tools used for teaching and conveying difficult concepts. It is defined as the substitution of one idea or object with another, used to assist expression or understanding (Casnig 2008). Casnig also says that the metaphor reminds us that the universe is full of cousins. If one’s cousins are the representations of oneself, it can also mean that in the context of the universe there are several representations of a reality. On a broader context, these representations can be defined as reality’s cousins that say something specific about this reality and not necessarily the whole picture. In this regard Morgan concludes that in recognizing theory as metaphor, we quickly appreciate that no single theory will ever give us a perfect or all-purpose point of view (2006, p5). Or rather, no single metaphor describes all aspects of an organization, we need to be aware that looking through just one metaphor becomes “a way of not seeing” and results in some sort of myopia. In this essay, a description and analysis of my previous workplace using the machine metaphor and the machine-like aspects of the organization will be explored. This in turn results in underscoring the strengths and weaknesses of the aspects revealed by use of machine metaphor in this essay. One of the very first metaphors relating to organizations and management systems is the machine metaphor. Today’s dominant metaphors originate from Newtonian physics, leading to the notion that, “an origination is akin to a machine with the outcomes that managers can see and remain in control of.”(Stacey 1996). The machine metaphor is based on an organizational management belief that

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