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SAGE Publications
Images of Organization / Edition 1

Images of Organization / Edition 1

by Gareth Morgan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781412939799
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 06/28/2006
Edition description: Updated Edition
Pages: 520
Sales rank: 160,280
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

Part I. An Overview
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
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

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Images of Organization 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Christian-Stadtlander-PhD More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Morgan clearly undermines the dominance of any single conceptual framework to view the nature and behavior of organizations. Readers will gain insights into irrational patterns that emerge within an organization, as well as outside of its boundaries. In particular, Morgan provides a broad introduction to systems theory and the assumptions of its various subfields. Overall, the text was balanced in its complexity and ease of reading. Nevertheless, it was always enjoyable.