Ch3 Organizations as Organisms

Ch3 Organizations as Organisms
Org Needs
Hawthorne Studies ~Work Motivation & relations btw people
Argyris, Herzberg,Mcgregor (org Psychologists)
Sociotechnical Systems
Tavistock Institute 50's
Trist & Bamforth
Org as Open System
Bertalanffy, theoretical biologist
Emphasis on environment
defines org in terms of interrelated subsystem
Use of systems to approach
Adapting Org to Environment
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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