Metaphors and Scripts in Organizational Theory Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1154 Words
Date:  2022-06-06

1: Using the assigned readings from Hatch and Morgan, present your insights as to the relationship of the mechanistic, organismic, and learning metaphors with the organizational elements of environmental uncertainty, flexibility, and social structures as communities.

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Hatch and Cunliffe, A. L. (2013) and Morgan (2006) presented related theories with respect to some perspectives of an organization which seem to be effective. Morgan analyzes the three major metaphors of machine, organism and the mind/ learning. Bolso, Phillips and Sabelis (2018) argued that the three, however, are derived and summarized from the 8 original groups of organizational metaphors; flux and transformation, machine, culture, political system, organism, brain, psychic prison, and the instrument of domination. According to Aanestad and Jensen (2016), every metaphor tends to outline other organizational life aspects which could be environmental uncertainty, flexibility, and social structures. Smith (2011) and Theodori (2015) argued that such organizational elements exhibit a significant relationship with the metaphors or an organization as suggested by Morgan .

According to Lu and Wangn (2012), each metaphor can be associated with the aspects of one or more organizational elements. For instance, the organismic metaphor relates to the element of flexibility whereby an organization is expected to undergo the change which can manifest in different ways. This seems realistic as the as the metaphor group focuses on the environmental and organizational dynamic relationship. The relationship can be established to be more clear by further studying and be analyzing the subgroups of an organism, that it, flux and transformation. Nadezda (2013) and, Rakovan and Pasteris (2015) argued that he two aspects are normally used to highlight the need and the stages through which an organization can achieve a significant and meaningful change. Moreover, the learning metaphor which denotes the learning group appears to draw some applications from the understanding of the social structures of an organization. A section of the learning metaphor considers an organization as a social construct in which different cultural perspectives have a role to play in ensuring the continuity of the core activities. Similarly, it relates to the element of uncertainty which could in the event of coordinating the power plays and mechanisms. The understanding of the element of uncertainty can also be approached by studying the metaphor of machine for an organization. It shows thinking involves diversity hence managing the differences in an organization is not a very easy task. It, therefore, follows that the concepts arising from the organizational metaphors intersect with the environmental elements owing to the underlying relationships among the concepts from the two groups.

2: What combinations seem to work to you? (Note that some metaphors are more or less attractive to each person, but that each metaphor works, or explains what goes on given the reality of the organization. Use examples of organizations that you think other students will recognize. Also, in your assignment show what cultures (countries/regions) might be inclined to prefer each of the three metaphors

Boxenbaum and Rouleau (2011) argued that the combination containing the metaphor of organism and the environmental element of flexibility seems to be the most effective among the others. Curtis, Dennis and McNamara (2017) added that Organism metaphor can be used to present an organization as an open system whose focus is on the contingency theories and human relations. The relationship seems to work since the given metaphors directly address the specific aspects of the organization that remains the emphasis of flexibility as an element (Dalal & Pauleen, 2018). Organizations embrace change, therefore, they tend to discourage rigid management and leadership structure. According to Haslam, Cornelissen and Werner (2017) various levels of leadership in an organization are allowed some level of flexibility in which there is no need to refer to a pre-established mode of action. Hekkala, Stein and Rossi (2016) and Intezari and Pauleen (2017) emphasized that the relationship is therefore important as it shows how the utilization of the open system develops a humane environment; all operations are meant to be flexibility provided a given goal is accomplished. Jamieson (2011) added that the application of the concept is evident in an organization like Wal-Mart in which the structure of leadership and management tries to accommodate human relations and the humane nature. Keidel (2014) reacted to Kim and Ha (2015) and argued that each of the three metaphors applicable to an organizational structure is considered in the western world. This is because the western countries normally encourage scholars to explore the relationship between the concepts and their applications in the conventional organizations (Kopczynski, 2017).


Aanestad, M., & Jensen, T. (2016). Collective mindfulness in post-implementation IS adaptation processes. Information And Organization, 26(1-2), 13-27. doi: 10.1016/j.infoandorg.2016.02.001

Bolso, A., Phillips, M., & Sabelis, I. (2018). Gendering environmental sustainability and organization: Introduction. Gender, Work & Organization, 25(3), 215-221. doi: 10.1111/gwao.12218

Boxenbaum, E., & Rouleau, L. (2011). NEW KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTS AS BRICOLAGE: METAPHORS AND SCRIPTS IN ORGANIZATIONAL THEORY. Academy Of Management Review, 36(2), 272-296. doi: 10.5465/amr.2011.59330898

Curtis, A., Dennis, A., & McNamara, K. (2017). From Monologue to Dialogue: Performative Objects to Promote Collective Mindfulness in Computer-Mediated Team Discussions. MIS Quarterly, 41(2), 559-581. doi: 10.25300/misq/2017/41.2.10

Dalal, N., & Pauleen, D. (2018). The wisdom nexus: Guiding information systems research, practice, and education. Information Systems Journal. doi: 10.1111/isj.12196

Haslam, S., Cornelissen, J., & Werner, M. (2017). Metatheories and Metaphors of Organizational Identity: Integrating Social Constructionist, Social Identity, and Social Actor Perspectives within a Social Interactionist Model. International Journal Of Management Reviews, 19(3), 318-336. doi: 10.1111/ijmr.12150

Hekkala, R., Stein, M., & Rossi, M. (2016). Metaphors in managerial and employee sensemaking in an information systems project. Information Systems Journal, 28(1), 142-174. doi: 10.1111/isj.12133

Intezari, A., & Pauleen, D. (2017). Wise Management Decision-making: A New Concept. Academy Of Management Proceedings, 2017(1), 13346. doi: 10.5465/ambpp.2017.13346abstract

Jamieson, H. (2011). Geochemistry and Mineralogy of Solid Mine Waste: Essential Knowledge for Predicting Environmental Impact. Elements, 7(6), 381-386. doi: 10.2113/gselements.7.6.381

Keidel, R. (2014). Team sports metaphors in perspective. Organizational Dynamics, 43(4), 294-302. doi: 10.1016/j.orgdyn.2014.09.006

Kim, J., & Ha, M. (2015). A Study of the Environmental Elements Affecting Campus Images. Journal Of Asian Architecture And Building Engineering, 14(1), 1-8. doi: 10.3130/jaabe.14.1

Kopczynski, J. (2017). Book review: Exploring Morgan's metaphors: Theory, research, and practice in organizational studiesOrtenbladAndersTrehanKiranPutnamLinda L (eds), Exploring Morgan's metaphors: Theory, research, and practice in organizational studies, SAGE: London, 2016. 304 pp., ISBN-13: 9781506318776. Management Learning, 135050761773102. doi: 10.1177/1350507617731029

Lu, X., & Wang, H. (2012). Microbial Oxidation of Sulfide Tailings and the Environmental Consequences. Elements, 8(2), 119-124. doi: 10.2113/gselements.8.2.119

Mary Jo Hatch, M. J. & Cunliffe, A. L. (2013) Organization Theory: Modern, Symbolic, and Postmodern Perspectives 3rd Edition. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN13: 978- 0199640379 4 of 10 Chapters 1-4

Morgan, G. (2006) Images of Organization edition 6. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications ISBN13: 978-1412939799 Chapters 1-4

Nadezda, S. (2013). ANIMAL METAPHORS AND SEMANTIC DEROGATION - DO WOMEN THINK DIFFERENTLY FROM MEN?. Gender Studies, 12(1). doi: 10.2478/genst-2013-0020

Rakovan, J., & Pasteris, J. (2015). A Technological Gem: Materials, Medical, and Environmental Mineralogy of Apatite. Elements, 11(3), 195-200. doi: 10.2113/gselements.11.3.195

Smith, P. (2011). Elements of organizational sustainability. The Learning Organization, 18(1), 5-9. doi: 10.1108/09696471111095957

Theodori, G., Luloff, A., Brennan, M., & Bridger, J. (2015). Making Sense of "Making Sense": A Critical Response. Rural Sociology, 81(1), 35-45. doi: 10.1111/ruso.12089

Walsham, G. (1991). Organizational metaphors and information systems research. European Journal Of Information Systems, 1(2), 83-94. doi: 10.1057/ejis.1991.16

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