Organization Culture

Topics: Organizational culture, Organization, Management Pages: 5 (1636 words) Published: March 8, 2013
Management Essay
Organization Culture

In this essay, I will firstly discuss the issue of culture metaphor developed by Morgan in 1986; secondly, the effect of organization culture on the design of organization structure and national culture on organization culture will be analyzed. Lastly, I will comment on the ways of power exist in an organization.

Culture metaphor
There are many theories and perspectives people can take to study and design an organization. Since it is a complex system that there is no one particular theory can fully interpret the whole operation and every aspects of it. “Metaphor”, which is a crucial idea in the field of organization management developed by Morgan, G in 1986, has been used to facilitate understanding of the nature of organizations and evaluating organizational phenomena. In Morgan’s thesis, very aspects of organization and organization management are reflections of some implicit metaphor, in turn; these implicit metaphors aid us in understanding and highlighting the essential parts of organization. However, they may restrict our mind in certain aspects by ignoring others parts thus results in lacking of managerial innovation and creation. There are total eight metaphors to defined organization as: machines, organisms, brains, cultures, political systems, psychic prisons, flux and transformation, and instruments of domination.

Concerning Morgan’s viewpoint that “"One of the major strengths of the culture metaphor rests in the fact that it directs attention to the symbolic significance of even the most rational parts of organizational life", we simply take the metaphor of machines as an example to evaluate this idea. Machines stand for a mechanism that form of “bureaucratic structure”, which providing the basis for efficient operation and offering continuity and security (as cited in Mullins, 1999). When thinking about an organization, the most explicit feature is a process of input and output, maximizing production meanwhile improving efficiency. As Lawley (2001) said “We conduct 'time and motion' studies, regard people as 'cogs in a wheel', and attempt to quantify and measure everything. We establish human 'resources' departments, allocate 'manpower' and recruit to 'fill a slot'. And all because the organization loves 're-engineering'.” At this point, a strictly viewing an organization as machine or concentrating on the mechanical function may cause problems such as depressing the development of human capacity. When facing a relatively dynamic environment, such concentration is lack of flexibility and capacity of transformation such that it may not able to adjust to external change and evolution.

As Morgan (1986) said, these eight metaphors are not mutually exclusive and there is possibility that one organization can be a combination of two or more metaphors. Moreover, the emphasis on these eight metaphors may change overtime as the organization developed and changes of external environment (as cited in Mullins, 1999). As these eight metaphors are paradoxical, they provide emphasis on and creative thinking about the crucial aspects of organizations while constrain managers mind to incorporate other important aspects or elements because all the metaphors are partial and none of them can completed capture the whole organization or organizational phenomenon(Drummond, as cited in Mullins, 2000).

The effect of organization culture on the design of organization structure

Scholars and researchers have many different definitions about organization culture because it is in essence a very complex context that a single definition can hardly describe the whole picture of it. However, the definition by Gareth Jones (1997) is widely accepted and used. He says that organizational culture is “a set of shared values and norms that controls organization member’ interaction with each other, and with suppliers, customers and others outside the organization.”...
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