An organization is defined as a social unit of people, systematically structured and managed to meet a need or to pursue collective goals on a continuous basis. We can look at the organization as the vehicle or means by which we get things accomplished. A metaphor is a method of extending of a word, or of illustrating a point by showing agreement or correspondence (analogy) in details between two very different items (2012). We use organizational metaphors to create and add meaning to our descriptions by using elements of relatable experiences to illustrate the point we want to get across. Morgan identifies eight common metaphors, I will describe two different organizational metaphors, compare and contrast them, then examine how switching between metaphors might enhance effective leadership.
Organizations as machines
Viewing an organization as machines is simplistic, you could look at like a schematic to have a starting point or structure, the middle or parts that go into it, then an end or finished product. The organization as a machine will typically be identified by strict processes, structure and a hierarchical top down chain of command. In order to make changes to a machine, a schematic showing its inner workings is needed and only the engineers of the machines can make changes to it. The core function of machine metaphor is to maintain control of the design, operations, implementation and output of the organization. Unlike machine parts which are programmed and rigid, people are not, which can lead to constant flux and change. Therefore, organization as a machine brings a picture whereby organizations leaders and manager have a role of creating and implementing blue prints (Morgan, 2006).
Organization as conversation
When an organization gets viewed as a conversation, it get the picture of an event, cannot be undertaken alone and needs a common pool (Miller, 2008). At any given point in an organization you...