Metaphor is a fundamental force through which humans create meaning by using one element of experience to understand another. Metaphor becomes a tool for creating an understanding about what we now recognize as organization and management. Gareth Morgan suggests a way of thinking and a way of seeing organizations as multiple of metaphors e.g. organizations as a machine (mechanistic approach), organizations as organisms (organic approach), and organizations as cultures etc. In this paper I will discuss an issue raised by Gareth Morgan, 1986 that “One of the major strengths of the culture metaphor rests in the fact that it directs attention to symbolic…significance of even the most rational parts of organizational life” . Moreover I will criticize the effect of organization culture in the design of organization structure base on Gareth Morgan’s idea and the effect of national culture on organization culture based on Hofstede’s idea . Lastly, I will explain how power can exist in different organization cultures by using theoretical approaches from Gareth Morgan and Mullins Book.
By viewing Organizations as Cultures, we focus them as mini-societies with their own distinctive patterns of culture and subcultures such as unique values, formalities, ideologies and faiths. Cultures create a form of “Blindness” and “Ethnocentrism”. If the individual then experiences other organization culture that have different values and normal behaviors, the individual finds that the thought patterns appropriate to their birth organization culture are not appropriate for the new organization cultures. The ethnocentric individual will resist or refuse the new thought patterns unless the new organization culture is superior to the birth culture. Gender also influences culture. The new truly flat network organizations are innovated to deal with the uncertainty and turbulence of modern environments are more female patterns than male. Females build communities base on inclusive relationships, characterized by trust, support, encouragement and mutual respect.
Numerous organizations, nowadays, use the rite of degradation as a means of control. Many deliberately worsen the situation when dissolving a removed employee! |s social identity and power in attempt to disseminate the importance of complying with organizational rules and culture. Nonetheless, this type of ceremony is often not an optimal solution to get rid of inappropriate behaviors. From what I ...
The Major Strengths of Culture Metaphor are that it emphasizes the symbolic significance of even the most rational parts of organizational life and almost everything we do as humans. The organization cultures and shared meaning are the same and only one. Leaders and managers gain a new understanding of their impact and role, transforming of many corporate cultures and subcultures away from the dominance influence of male values and modes of behavior. Moreover, Leaders and managers also see how their success follows on the creation of shared meanings because they provide alternatives to control through external procedures and rules. We see how organizations and their environment in realities are created and shaped by being talked.
The coin always has two sides. Just like the Culture Metaphor, there is no one best way (Contingency Theory ).
There are some weaknesses of organization culture on the design of organization structure. The culture metaphor can be used to support ideological administration and control. Culture itself is holographic and cannot be controlled in reality. Significant dimensions of Culture are rarely to be seen, because culture usually has a deep political dimension, and it is hard to understand the full importance of culture through the organization culture. I do agree with the issue 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 more rational parts of organizational life”. Although there is the major strength, there are also some limitations which I discussed above.
Is High Culture Superior to Popular Culture, and if so Why? For about a century, Western Culture has really been divided into two cultures, the traditional type of ‘high culture’ and a ‘mass culture’ manufactured wholesale for the market. High culture is the arts that require some form of intellect to comprehend, so therefore can only reach a tiny segment of the population, ...
Culture varies from country to country. National Culture forms individual personality traits, behaviors and attitudes. To analyze the effect of national culture on organization culture, I will use Hofstede and Edward T. Hall as main frameworks. Hofstede’s study shows that there are five independent dimensions of national culture differences; Power Distance(PDI), Individualism(IDV), Masculinity(MAS), Uncertainty Avoidance(UAI), Long-Term Orientation(LTO) that affect the behavior of organizations and persistency across time.
In High context culture such as Japan Organization culture is considered by Hofstede to be “High masculine culture”, where the value placed on traditionally male values, “High uncertainty avoidance culture”, means the people prefer rules and structured circumstances and “High Long-Term Oriented” where values include persistence, ordering relationships by status, thrift, and having a sense of shame. This context culture finally results that every in-group member in organization is constantly up-to-date with the facts around the business because they communicate with each other intensively and exchange information about many different topics.
In comparison, in Low context culture such as organization Culture in United States are considered to be “High Individualism” where low degree to which individuals are integrated into groups and “Low Long-Term Oriented” where values include normative statements, personal steadiness and stability, protecting ones face, respect for tradition, and reciprocation of greetings, favors, and gifts, “Low Power Distance” where people expect and accept power relations that are more consultative or democratic. People in this context culture, they exchange information just to the necessary extent so that work can be done and they don’t discuss or exchange information constantly in their work environment and colleagues.
Culture is something that influences how work gets done, critically affects project success or failure, says who fits in and who doesn't, and determines the overall mood of the company. The McKinsey organization defined culture is "how we do things around here". Gerry Johnson and Kevan Scholes developed a approach to help us look at the culture in 1992, it is called The Cultural Web. The theory ...
In Gareth Morgan’s Images of Organization, Organization is viewed as Political Systems. We can identify different styles of government and see how organization becomes politicized because of divergent interests of individuals and groups. Conflict is a natural property of every organization therefore; we observe many different sources of power and learn how they can be used to our advantage.
Power can exist in different organization culture in various ways. In this paper, I will give an example of Political Organization. There are some sources of power in different organization culture for example, firstly is Formal authority. It is position power because it is based on the role of the leader in the organization, and not on the nature of the personal relationship with others. Secondly, Control of scarce resources, such as promote, increased responsibilities, allocation of work, granting privilege. Thirdly, the use of the organizational rules, regulations, and procedures that are designed to guide and streamline activities can almost always be used to block activities to gain power and control. Fourthly, Control of boundaries by monitoring and controlling boundary transactions. The next source is Control of technology which influences the interdependence within an organization and the power relations between individuals and departments.
Moreover, Affiliations, and coalitions are all provide sources of power in term of Interpersonal alliances, networks, and control of Informal organization. Control of decision process is another example of sources of power. It can be seen as Referent power; which is based on the subordinate’s identification with the leader. A particular manager any not be in a position to reward or punish, but can exercise over subordinates because of their respect of commands. Besides, Control of knowledge and information; power exists where man skillful organizational politicians control information flows and knowledge that is made available to different people, thereby influencing perception of situations and hence the ways they act in relation to those situations. These politicians are opening and closing channels of communication, summarizing, analyzing, and shaping knowledge with a view of the world that favors their interests. They also have the right information at the right time, and skill is seen as a form of power.
A deeper understanding of power and control emerges from considering the parallels between Animal Farm and V for Vendetta. Compare how these texts explore the ideas of power and control. George Orwell’s allegorical novella, Animal Farm and Alan Moore’s dystopian novel, V for Vendetta are prominent texts in English Literature which clearly establish the ideas of power and control. Both texts have a ...
In conclusion, it is true that one of the major strengths of the culture metaphor rests in the fact that it directs attention to the symbolic…and can be considered as the most rational parts of organizational life but there are some limitations of culture metaphor. There are both positive and negative effects by viewing Organizations as Cultures as I discussed above. The effect of national culture on organization culture is given between two nations; USA and Japan. Other countries which have similar national culture also have similar score among five independent dimensions of national culture differences by Hofstede. Because of Individuals Norms and Values is formed together according their national cultures. By giving an example of Political Organization, power exists in different organization cultures by various sources as mentioned above.
Gareth Morgan, “Images of Organization”Mullins, “Management and Organizational Behavior”, Eighth EditionGareth Morgan. Creative Organization Theory: A Resourcebook, Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1989.