Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, thinkers have used evocative images in trying to explain just what a corporation is. Have they succeeded? Gareth Morgan presents a thoughtful, well-documented look at images that arise from our theories and metaphors about reality. He discusses how they shape the way we view the corporation as an entity and how we act. His analysis involves a mix of philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology, biology and organizational examples. He moves from industrial-age notions of the organization as a machine, to biological analogies about the organization as an organism. Other metaphors - the organization as a brain, as social reality, as the source of cultural difference and as an arena for power struggles - shape what occurs within corporations. While this book is not an easy read, it illuminates the dynamics of organizational life. getAbstract recommends this book to executives, and to readers intrigued by serious societal expositions.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why you should view organizations from multiple perspectives;
- How to develop an understanding of organizational dynamics by using metaphors; and
- Why the metaphor of an organization as a machine is particularly outdated in today’s complex workplace.
About the Author
Gareth Morgan is the author of seven books, including Imaginization: New Mindsets for Seeing Organizing and Managing the companion book to Images of the Organization He has worked with such companies as Continental AG, GE, Hewlett-Packard, Northern Telecom, Royal Bank of Canada, Shell and Volkswagen.
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University of Toronto Press, 2016