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Ch3 Organizations as Organisms by Mind Map: Ch3 Organizations as Organisms
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Ch3 Organizations as Organisms

Limitations of Metaphor

View to concrete~ under estimates org's ability to help make own future

Assumes functional unity ~ most orgs not functionally unified

Danger Metaphor as ideology ~ fail to see that human beings have large measure of influence over their world

Strengths of Metaphor

Understanding relations btw orgs & environment

Management of orgs can be improved by focusing on "needs"

Species ~ we have options

Virtue or organic forms in innovation

OD~focus on fit

Ecology & inter-organizational relations

Org Ecology

Orgs like organisms exist as elements in a complex ecosystem

evolution is always evolution of patterns of relationships

"evolution involves the survival of the fitting" not just survival of the fittest

Kenneth Boulding

Org's in principle can influence their environment

Orgs can play role in shaping their futures esp. working with others

Environment becomes negotiated rather than independent external sources

Population Ecology

Need to pay attention pressures that prevent orgs from changing in response to environment

Resource limitations shape growth, development & decline of org & role of innovation in shaping new org species

Awareness of changing structure of critical resource niches and patterns of dependencies

Promoting Org Health & Development

What is nature of org's environment

What kind of strategy is being employed?

What kind of technology is being used?

What kinds of people are employed and what is dominant culture?

How is the org structured & what are the managerial philosophies?

Adapting Org to Environment

Like organisms in the natural world, it seems that successful organizations evolve appropriate structures and processes for dealing with the challenges of their external environments

Org are OS that need management to satisfy & balance internal needs & adapt

No one best way to Organize~ form depends on task or environment

Management focused on alignments

different Management necessary to perform different tasks in same org

Different species of orgs are needed in different environments

Org as Open System

Bertalanffy, theoretical biologist

Emphasis on environment

defines org in terms of interrelated subsystem

Use of systems to approach

to establish congruencies and alignments between different systems and to identify and eliminate potential dysfunctions

Org Needs

Hawthorne Studies ~Work Motivation & relations btw people

Sociotechnical Systems