Making Sense of Organizations To what extent is it reasonable to suggest that an organisation does function like a machine of should do? The task at hand asks of us to flesh out a metaphor – to draw parallels between organisations and machines. In some ways the answers appear readily evident, but there are other, more subtle, likenesses between the two that may be discerned from how humans relate to both…
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The machine is comprised of interlocking components which work together in sync. Well-oiled, it functions flawlessly to take a physical input and convert it into an output that serves some utility. In the same way as machines are fabrications of men, organizations are themselves an invention, a fabrication that was necessitated by human need. Organizations are fictitious persons with legal rights and obligations that are exercised by the persons who are empowered to act in behalf of it (Champoux, 2011). The organisations, while made up of people and acting through them, are separate entities from the people who comprise them. Humans work together to fulfil common needs; organizations have been devised to provide the structure by which human efforts may be coordinated, in order to more effectively attain the goals they have set out to achieve (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2010). Organizations are more formally defined as ‘a system of two or more persons, engaged in cooperative action, trying to reach a purpose.’ As systems they are bounded, and feature a structure including authority relations, communications protocols, and formally established incentives by which peoples’ behaviour and social interaction are structured and regulated, even controlled (Champoux, 2011, p. 6). Also, ‘Organizations are (1) social entities that (2) are goal-directed, (3) are designed as deliberately structure and coordinated activity systems, and (4) are linked to the external environment’ (Daft, 2007, p. 10). A cursory observation is that elements common to machines and organisations are that they are both goal-oriented, they are both creations of humans, and they employ a system that takes inputs from the environment, converts them through a pre-determined process, and creates the desired output which they return to the environment. The following discussion will thresh out the machine-like elements in the organisation that pertain to the latter’s historical, rational-technical, and sociological (seen through the psychological, cultural, and symbolic) components. Historical elements of organisations The historical element of an organisation becomes apparent when one comes to realise that while organisations are made up of people, they are capable of exceeding the limitations of the people who comprise it at any one point in time. This means that while people can leave, retire or die, organisations live on through the next generation of individuals who succeed those who have left. In practical terms, it is possible for organisations to last longer than any natural person can, and even cross over to several generations into the future. There are many organisations that have lasted for hundreds of years. In London, the oldest merchant bank was Barings Bank; it was established in 1762, but collapsed in 1995 due to rogue trading. Today, a remnant of the bank survives as ING Barings after it was bought out in 1995 by ING Bank. That being said, it is remarkable that a British bank, a private organisation that existed separate from the government, was older than the Unites States itself. Scanning the internet, however, Barings was a young bank when compared with the Halifax Bank of Scotland (1695), the Berenberg Bank of
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“Making Sense Of Organisation Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2500 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/management/1397547-making-sense-of-organisation.
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