For this week’s Forum, respond to the following: Discuss one the metaphors from Morgan’s writings that applies to your own organizational context. From the perspective of a leader/manager, discuss the benefit of identifying the functionality of your organization through the lens of the selected metaphor. What do you learn about your organization using that metaphor? What do you learn about your role in the organization through recognizing the metaphor at work?
This forum is reflective (No citations/references required). First person is acceptable.
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I believe my organization is a cross of two types of metaphors. The first would have to be machine organizations. It is unfortunate that I have to place the Army Wounded Warrior Program in that metaphor, but we do work for medical command of the Army. As stated by Morgan, those organizations that are modelled after the military generally fall into this category. Those employed by my company have standardized training, equipment, and regulations that govern our actions. We work daily with Soldiers who wear those ranks and uniform Morgan also spoke of. Finally, commands do come from the top that travel down through the ranks until my first line supervisor tells me what actions she expects me to take at times. There is a more human quality about those of us that act as Advocates for these Soldiers. The metaphor that discusses cultures would also fit into this unit. The military operates on certain beliefs, rituals, and rules. At no time will a Soldier come into my office and I not do the very best I can to provide assistance with his or her issues. It is part of the seven Army values; loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage, that we all operate on. Some think that these ideas are not attainable in an organization, but it simply expected when dealing with Soldiers. It is kind of the “Never leave a fallen comrade” piece that one hears about when discussing the military. As I stated, at times we may receive orders from the top, but it is expected of us to operate autonomously and take care of our Soldiers.
From the perspective of a leader/manager, discuss the benefit of identifying the functionality of your organization through the lens of the selected metaphor.
After reviewing the options of Morgan’s perspectives, I felt that my organization could fit into a few. However, I chose the machine view as the most appropriate. As a government organization like many of the other students in this class, my organization operates 24/7/365. We don’t stop for weekends, nights, holidays, etc. And, this is a description of the machine view, which was described as clockwork. Machine was borrowed from the military, and LE is a para military organization that is managed with a chain of command, i.e. chief of police, who gives orders or directives that travel down to the officers on the streets. This is important as enormous responsibility is given to the officers that are making life and death split second decisions, not to mention decisions regarding a citizens’ freedom.
What did you learn about your organization using that metaphor?
While reviewing the article, and as I stated above; I believe that my organization could have met the descriptions of a few of these perspectives. Political and psychic prisons are the other top options for my organization. Clearly being a government organization, politics is intertwined extensively within my org, and I would suggest all the other similar orgs throughout the country and world. It is inevitable for politics not to be prevalent when there are people involved that are bestowed certain powers or abilities. Additionally and unfortunately, I have observed the psychic prison that our organization is trapped within. There is such a large fear to change, or the fear of change. The barriers to change are a constant issue that needs to be readdressed repeatedly.
What did you learn about your role in the organization through recognizing the metaphor at work?
I recognize that decisions that could be made by me via my duties can have serious legal ramifications on individuals engaged in certain businesses. Therefore, it is imperative that these duties are completed correctly and timely as not to interfere or restrict the success of our community partners.
As I expected, my organization goes right along with Morgan’s machine metaphor. I expected it to fall under the machine category since it is healthcare. There are many processes in place that must be followed in a very specific manner to break the chain of infection as well as to ensure when there is a breakdown, a route cause analysis (RCA) can be completed to prevent the same issue from reoccurring in the future. The benefit to identifying the machine metaphor and how it aligns with your organization is due to the fact that it allows leaders/mangers the ability to utilize other metaphors as discussed in Morgan’s writings. In additional, it allows for a leader to see how closely it is aligning itself with the metaphor and if any of the beneficial parts of the specific metaphor are being missed and potentially allow for the implementation of those pieces back into the department or organization as a whole.
By understanding the type of metaphor being applied in my organization it helps to understand how and why processes were implemented. It allows me to view my organization as a machine and to realize the function of the many departments under the organizations control. Although it seems as if these are negative things, at least in my viewpoint from reading Morgan’s writings, there aren’t necessarily. Businesses must function and they will very likely align with one or many of the metaphors discussed. It allows for a leader to intermix many of the metaphors while allows the company to become more diverse, and during tough times it may just save the business from fading away since they will be able to adapt more easily.
My role within the organization can be easily identified as a “cog in a wheel”. Many of the policies and procedures are already established, even though I write standard operating procedures and help with creating new memorandums, the overall regulations have already be concreted within the organization. It certainly sheds a lot of light on the expectations set forth prior to being put in this role. Without discussing other metaphors that are also key players within my organization it certainly sheds a negative light on this entity. However, I do not think this is an accurate representation overall. Certainly enjoyed researching this assignment!
** Please don’t just rephrase their info, but respond to it. Remember to answer question at the end if there is one. **