Images of Organization / Edition 1

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Overview

Since its first publication over twenty years ago, Images of Organization has become a classic in the canon of management literature. The book is based on a very simple premise—that all theories of organization and management are based on implicit images or metaphors that stretch our imagination in a way that can create powerful insights, but at the risk of distortion. Gareth Morgan provides a rich and comprehensive resource for exploring the complexity of modern organizations internationally, translating leading-edge theory into leading-edge practice.

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Editorial Reviews

Letter from James Michael Burke
Professor Morgan,

I only recently received a copy of Images of Organization (updated edition) as a desk copy to review for the I/O Psych class that I teach. I just started reading your book I am absolutely blown away by it. I cannot believe that I had missed this marvelous work. My ignorance knows few, if any, limits!


You pull together such a span of ideas and integrate them beautifully with your own angle, stimulating one's thinking. This is the kind of mind opening perspective to which I like to expose my classes. Thank you for condensing it so powerfully. By the way, the bibliographic notes are as exciting a read as is the rest of the book. I look forward to devouring the rest of the book.


James Michael Burke, Ph.D.
Virginia Commonwealth University
L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Center for Public Policy
APADE
"This is the new updated edition of a classic published over 20 years ago. The book is based on the simple premise that all theories of organization and management are based on implicit images of metaphors that stretch our imagination in a way that can create powerful insights, but at the risk of distortion. The author provides a rich and comprhensive resource for exploring the complexity of modern organizations internationally, translating theory into practice. "
Mohammad A. Auwal
“A universe of thanks to you for spearheading the metaphoric, creative thinking about organizations. Your method has essentially electrified my teaching.”

Mohammad A. Auwal, CSU, Los Angeles

Jim Bonilla
"Let me say that I've loved teaching this course for over 10 years now, in part, because your book (and now the excellent CD) are so well thought out. You deserve a bow. Bravo. "
Abstract of Public Administration Development and Environment
"This book is based on the simple premise that all theories of organization and management are based on implicit images of metaphors that stretch our imagination in a way that can create powerful insights, but at the risk of distortion. The author provides a rich and comprehensive resource for exploring the complexity of modern organizations internationally, translating theory into practice. "
James Michael Burke
Morgan, I only recently received a copy of Images of Organization (updated edition) as a desk copy to review for the I/O Psych class that I teach. I just started reading your book I am absolutely blown away by it. I cannot believe that I had missed this marvelous work. My ignorance knows few, if any, limits! You pull together such a span of ideas and integrate them beautifully with your own angle, stimulating one's thinking. This is the kind of mind opening perspective to which I like to expose my classes. Thank you for condensing it so powerfully. By the way, the bibliographic notes are as exciting a read as is the rest of the book. I look forward to devouring the rest of the book. James Michael Burke, Ph.D.Virginia Commonwealth University L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs Center for Public Policy
APADE
"This is the new updated edition of a classic published over 20 years ago. The book is based on the simple premise that all theories of organization and management are based on implicit images of metaphors that stretch our imagination in a way that can create powerful insights, but at the risk of distortion. The author provides a rich and comprhensive resource for exploring the complexity of modern organizations internationally, translating theory into practice."
Mohammad A. Auwal

“A universe of thanks to you for spearheading the metaphoric, creative thinking about organizations. Your method has essentially electrified my teaching.”

--Mohammad A. Auwal, CSU, Los Angeles

Jim Bonilla
"Let me say that I've loved teaching this course for over 10 years now, in part, because your book (and now the excellent CD) are so well thought out. You deserve a bow. Bravo."
Abstract of Public Administration Development and Environment
"This book is based on the simple premise that all theories of organization and management are based on implicit images of metaphors that stretch our imagination in a way that can create powerful insights, but at the risk of distortion. The author provides a rich and comprehensive resource for exploring the complexity of modern organizations internationally, translating theory into practice."
Letter from James Michael Burke
Professor Morgan,

I only recently received a copy of Images of Organization (updated edition) as a desk copy to review for the I/O Psych class that I teach. I just started reading your book I am absolutely blown away by it. I cannot believe that I had missed this marvelous work. My ignorance knows few, if any, limits!


You pull together such a span of ideas and integrate them beautifully with your own angle, stimulating one's thinking. This is the kind of mind opening perspective to which I like to expose my classes. Thank you for condensing it so powerfully. By the way, the bibliographic notes are as exciting a read as is the rest of the book. I look forward to devouring the rest of the book.


James Michael Burke, Ph.D.
Virginia Commonwealth University
L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Center for Public Policy
Linda L. Putnam
"This volume updates what has become a true classic in management literature. Sprinkled with contemporary examples, it incorporates the most recent themes in cognitive approaches, chaos theory, self-organizing systems, and metaphor analysis. Retaining its provocative framework, it is essential reading for any scholar or practitioner who must act or seek to understand the paradoxes and shifting visions of organizational life. "
Curt Lindberg
"A fine, well-thumbed friend returns reborn and refreshed. No one who cares about organizations should miss this living classic. "
Antonio Strati
"The new edition of Images of Organization leads the reader smoothly into the most recent debate among organizational scholars while preserving the elegance of the first edition. The reader is freed from compulsory and totalizing accounts of organizational life. "
Bill Veltrop
"Images of Organization is MUST READING for practitioners in the overlapping fields of organizational design, management, learning, and change. . . . In Images, metaphor becomes an extraordinarily accessible and pragmatic tool. Gareth Morgan challenges us to flex our innate capacity to imagine and create-to image and evolve. . . . He is one of the most thorough researchers and imaginative theorists in the domain of organization. This piece of work is rich with examples and down-to-earth frames. ENJOY! "
Danny Miller
"Gareth Morgan's new edition of Images of Organization is a classic work that will stir the imagination of readers for years to come. I recommend this superb contribution with unreserved enthusiasm. "
Chris Argyris
"Gareth Morgan has improved importantly on the new edition of Images of Organization. It contains many new ideas such as 'design principles' for creating learning in organizations. There are also fascinating suggestions for practitioners, challenging their assumptions and replacing them with ones that are more likely to lead to effective performance. "
Eugene W. Ratsoy
"There aren't enough superlatives to describe Images of Organization. I have used Gareth Morgan's first edition as the main text in my seminar on organizational studies for the creative insights it provides into the functioning of organizations. What was already a masterpiece is strengthened in its new edition. . . . Original, insightful, creative, meaningful, relevant, practical, scholarly, research-based. These descriptors only begin to describe this brilliant and challenging work. "
Pratima Bansal
"Images of Organization provides powerful tools for understanding and analyzing organizations. The book forces us to extend our existing frames of reference. . . . The revisions to the first edition have been substantial. "
Brian Nichol
"Images of Organization is an exciting book, demonstrating both the diverse perspectives and the limitations on our understanding of organizations. It is invaluable for teaching the future leaders of organizations. "
W. Edward Stead
"In Images of Organization, Gareth Morgan demonstrates an uncanny ability to visualize organizational processes. The metaphorical images he creates provide a deep understanding of what organizations are and, more important, what they can become. Each of his organizational metaphors is a richly woven blend of classic organizational theory and new, often radically different, ideas from many diverse arenas. Further, he goes beyond simply creating explanatory metaphors. He makes it clear that metaphorical thinking is at the heart of effectively managing organizations during times of turbulence and change. This book is a must read for all serious students of organization, theory, behavior, and change. Gareth Morgan ranks alongside James Thompson and others as the elite scholars in the field. "
Susan C. Aldridge
"I have used Gareth Morgan's Images of Organization for many years. Morgan's approach to organizations is thought provoking. Students find the use of metaphors intriguing and insightful. Through the use of metaphors, Morgan provides students with a variety of lenses to view the world differently. He provides an interesting method for exploring organizations that standard course textbooks do not offer. Images works well as a course text or as a supplementary text. "
David Hachen
"Gareth Morgan's Images of Organization and its companion, Creative Organization Theory, have changed the way I teach my course on organizations. My students really enjoy learning about organizations by discussing and debating the decision cases in Creative Organization Theory. The way Morgan uses images and metaphors stimulates students to 'reframe' and think about organizations in different ways. I have even found Morgan's images useful in helping me think about not just organizations but many other aspects of our social worlds. "
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412939799
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 6/28/2006
  • Edition description: Updated Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 520
  • Sales rank: 150,763
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Gareth Morgan is well known for his creative contributions to management. He is the author of seven books, including Images of Organization, Creative Organization Theory, Imaginization and Riding the Waves of Change. He acts as consultant and seminar leader to numerous organizations throughout Europe and North America, and is Distinguished Research Professor at York University in Toronto. He has sat on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management, and Organization Studies; and is a Life Fellow of the International Academy of Management. Born in Wales, he now lives in Toronto with his wife, Karen and their children Evan and Heather.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Part I. An Overview
Introduction
Part II. Some Images of Organization
2. Mechanization Takes Command: Organizations as Machines
Machines, Mechanical Thinking, and the Rise of Bureaucratic Organization
The Origins of Mechanistic Organization
Classical Management Theory: Designing bureaucratic organizations
Scientific Management
Strengths and Limitations of the Machine Metaphor
3. Nature Intervenes: Organizations as Organisms
Discovering Organizational Needs
Recognizing the Importance of Environment: Organizations as Open Systems
Contingency Theory: Adapting Organization to Environment
The Variety of the Species
Contingency Theory: Promoting Organizational Health and Development
Natural Selection: The Population-Ecology View of Organizations
Organizational Ecology: The Creation of Shared Futures
Strengths and Limitations of the Organismic Metaphor
4. Learning and Self-Organization: Organizations as Brains
Images of the Brain
Organizations as Information Processing Brains
Creating Learning Organizations
Cybernetics, Learning, and Learning to Learn
Can Organizations Learn to Learn?
Guidelines for "Learning Organizations "
Organizations as Holographic Brains
Principles of Holographic Design
Strengths and Limitations of the Brain Metaphors
5. Creating Social Realty: Organizations as Cultures
Culture and Organization
Organization as a Cultural Phenomenon
Organization and Cultural Context
Corporate Cultures and Subcultures
Creating Organizational Reality
Culture: Rule Following or Enactment?
Organization: The enactment of a Shared Reality
Strengths and Limitations of the Cultural Metaphor
6. Interests, Conflict, and Power: Organizations as Political Systems
Organizations as Systems of Government
Organizations as Systems of Political Activity
Analyzing Interests
Understanding Conflict
Exploring Power
Managing Pluralist Organizations
Strengths and Limitations of the Political Metaphor
7. Exploring Plato's Cave: Organizations as Psychic Prisons
The Trap of Favored Ways of Thinking
Organization and the Unconscious
Organization and Repressed Sexuality
Organization and the Patriarchal Family
Organization, Death, and Immortality
Organization and Anxiety
Organization, Dolls, and Teddy Bears
Organization, Shadow, and Archetype
The Unconscious: A Creative and Destructive Force
Strengths and Limitations of the Psychic Prison Metaphor
8. Unfolding Logics of Change: Organization as Flux and Transformation
Autopoiesis: Rethinking Relations With the Environment
Enactment as a Form of Narcissism: Organizations Interact With Projections of Themselves
Identity and Closure: Egocentrism Versus Systemic Wisdom
Shifting "Attractors ": The Logic of Chaos and Complexity
Managing in the Midst of Complexity
Loops, Not Lines: The Logic of Mutual Causality
Contradiction and Crisis: The Logic of Dialectical Change
Dialectical Analysis: How Opposing Forces Drive Change
The Dialectics of Management
Strengths and Limitations of the Flux and Transformation Metaphor
9. The Ugly Face: Organizations as Instruments of Domination
Organization as Domination
How Organizations Use and Exploit Their Employees
Organization, Class, and Control
Work Hazards, Occupational Disease, and Industrial Accidents
Workaholism and Social and Mental Stress
Organizational Politics and the Radicalized Organization
Multinationals and the World Economy
The Multinationals as World Powers
Multinationals: A Record of Exploitation?
Strengths and Limitations of the Domination Metaphor
Part III. Implications For Practice
10. The Challenge of Metaphor
Metaphors Create Ways of Seeing and Shaping Organizational Life
Seeing, Thinking, and Acting in New Ways
11. Reading and Shaping Organizational Life
The Multicom Case
Interpreting Multicom
Developing and Detailed Reading and "Storyline "
Multicom From Another View
"Reading" and Emergent Intelligence
12. Postscript
Bibliographic Notes
Introduction
The Machine Metaphor
The Organismic Metaphor
The Brain Metaphor
The Culture Metaphor
The Political Metaphor
The Psychic Prison Metaphor
The Flux and Transformation Metaphor
The Domination Metaphor
The Challenge of Metaphor
Reading and Shaping Organizational Life
Postscript
Bibliography

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Images of Organization

    In today's business environment, most organizations are complex and multifaceted. There is a marked trend away from the idea of centralization and large bureaucracy toward the concept of decentralization, which allows for more flexible and responsive decision making. Furthermore, globalization has forced organizations to develop a "global mind set," which has impacted the way how corporations operate in the economy.

    Morgan believes that modern organizations can be best understood in terms of metaphors. He defines metaphors as certain images that can be produced to view and analyze critical issues of organizational life from different angles. Morgan provides the reader with eight very different and powerful metaphors: 1. Organizations as Machines (Mechanization); 2. Organizations as Organisms (Nature); 3. Organizations as Brains (Self-Organization); 4. Organizations as Cultures (Social Reality Creation); 5. Organizations as Political Systems (Interests, Conflicts, and Power); 6. Organizations as Psychic Prisons (Plato's Cave); 7. Organizations as Flux and Transformation (Logics of Change); and 8. Organizations as Instruments of Domination (The Ugly Face). He also discusses various theories, including Max Weber's theory of bureaucracy, Henri Fayol's administrative theory, Frederick Taylor's theory of scientific management, and Peter Senge's theory of learning organizations, as well as Emile Durkheim's theory of morality and symbolism. This discussion further helps the reader understand how organizations function.

    Morgan mentioned that the skill of "reading" a particular situation occurs at an almost unconscious level; it is an intuitive process that is influenced by experience and the general ability of the manager and leader. Yet, the art of creating images and analyzing situations of organizational life can also be learned. He shows the reader in great detail how this can be done.

    Morgan points out that the biggest benefit of using metaphors is to stretch our imagination and create powerful insights into the different dimensions of an organization. He also makes the reader aware that different qualities, as identified by the metaphor analysis, can coexist in organizations. Morgan warns us, however, that metaphors are inherently paradoxical: On the one hand, they can significantly improve our understanding of organizations; on the other hand, they can distort an image, if not carefully interpreted, and block our ability to gain a correct overall view. It is thus not surprising that Morgan places a major emphasis on showing the reader how to properly use these eight metaphors.

    In my opinion, "Images of Organization" is an excellent information resource and practical guide for managers and leaders who want to understand the different facets of their organizations with the ultimate goal to improve them. In this regard, I consider a major strength of this book the successful linkage of theory to management practice. Morgan prepared a text that contains rich ideas, sophisticated reasoning, and clear presentation. The book is intellectually stimulating and encourages leaders and managers to learn from the past and prepare for the future. This text is also quite useful for students who want to learn the trade of imaging organizations. I would highly recommend Morgan's book - it is absolutely worth the investment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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