The implications of Metaphors on Organisational Life Analytical Essay by astute987

The implications of Metaphors on Organisational Life
An overview of the use of metaphors in organisational situations.
# 102302 | 3,925 words | 8 sources | APA | 2007 | GB
Published on Mar 23, 2008 in Business (Management) , Language (General)

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This paper aims to critically review, examine and explain how different metaphors impact organisational life, with the help of academic text and examples from personal experience. This author has carried this out by focusing on three commonly used organisational metaphors. The paper has been roughly divided into four sections with the author concluding that while metaphors use evocative images to help us understand situations, if taken too seriously they can eventually lead to managers making poor decisions.

Machine Metaphor
Organism Metaphor
Culture Metaphor
Illustration of Metaphors through my Organisational Experience

From the Paper:

"Machine metaphor is arguably the most popular metaphor used in organisations and effectively the most influential metaphor to have influenced organisational life. This metaphor portrays an organisation as a machine, which is made up of several different parts, with each part playing a defined role, with the ultimate aim of achieving organisational goals and objectives. This mechanistic aspect is inherent in virtually all organisational functions, starting from planning, organising, and implementing to evaluation and control. In this concept people are considered as mere operators of machines and the focus is on maximum efficiency and productivity.
"Organisations that are designed and operated as if they were machines are usually called "bureaucracies" (Morgan, G, 1998). In mechanistic organisations things tend to be monotonous and predictable, such as arrival time, time for breaks, change over of employees, etc. Very often the work tends to be mechanical and repetitive, especially at the lower levels. Two of the greatest examples of the mechanistic model are Ford and McDonalds. During the industrial revolution, "the assembly line" by Ford proved to be a great success, and in the current times McDonalds has set up a great example by "mechanising the organisation of all its franchise outlets throughout the world, to produce a uniform product". (Morgan, G, 1998)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Morgan, Gareth. (1998) Images of Organization. Executive ed. California: Sage Publications: Berrett-Koehler.
  • "An Essay on Metaphors." 09 May 2006>.
  • "Characteristics of Open Systems." The University of Texas at Austin. 09 May 2006 <>.
  • "Dictionary." Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. 10 May 2006 <>.
  • "Employment of Workplace Change." Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. 10 May 2006 <>.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The implications of Metaphors on Organisational Life (2008, March 23) Retrieved April 14, 2021, from

MLA Format

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