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Organizational Metaphor Studies

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Machine metaphor

This is mind that is in order for example engineers and in terms of business processes reengineering. The machine metaphor talks about whatever we see as a common sense. The mind plays the role of a machine i.e. it is on and off apart from being at a level of efficiency even to a point of complete disrepair (Harris, 1994)

Advantages of machine metaphor

One of the advantages of this metaphor is that the same product is produced althrough. Customers  will buy more of it when they know the product since they know that because it is everywhere and all and sundry are using it,  it is ideal for them  and at any given time  and  place they will have ease accessibility to it  at all  times (Ward, 1996)

And these products are sold at affordable prices because the law of demand states that the higher the price of the commodity the low the demand and the low the price of the commodity the higher the demand (Alkhafaji, 2003). Ultimately, the buyers would purchase more of the product because of its affordability.

The use of machine metaphor makes the products produced to be of high quality thus attracting more buyers. This is because the products will be safe for consumption and at a taste mostly preferred by the customers (argues Michael, 2000). Bureau of standards on the other hand plays the role of ensuring that the quality of the product is high before going to the market.

Since the sales revenue obtained from selling the products surpasses the cost, they become profitable. This is because the metaphor studies are put into good use. Machine metaphor initiates innovation, a source of balance with its need for control. (Benfari, 2000)

Machine metaphor also initiates internal thinking where the firm thinks of the activities that are resourceful to the firm as a whole and identifies ways of improving the organization’s profitability.

Machines get replacements or even repairs. This implies that when a machine develops problems, it can be repaired and continue being used or replaced with a similar machine as opposed to procuring a new one. By doing so, this improves its performance compared to the original machine.


A high level of experience and expertise is required to operate machines. This requires specialized and experienced workforce with the know-how of how the machine operatesspecialization is also a prerequisite for the staff. It may not be cheap to match their qualifications with pay (Lowson, 2002)

Machines don’t evolve nor do they develop since upon manufacture for a designated purpose, a machine can not be placed to for another use apart from the original purpose. However, other machine parts don’t undergo evolvement instead maintain their same position.

A machine may not withstand change. This is particularly when new and advanced technology evolves that calls for change. The machine cannot be able to change to the new and improved technology. As a result, the organization is bound to stagnate as others take the lead with improved and modern technology. The result is decreased sales as a result of lack of delivery of today’s products in demand by many customers making them venture for alternative products that are likely to meet their tastes and preferences.(Anderson,Miles,2003)

Organization as organism metaphor

The organizations compete to survive whether the environment is favorable or unfavorable. It makes all the efforts necessary in order to achieve the goals which include satisfying customer needs and profit maximization. The organizations also evolve day after day and come up with new modern methods of production which aims at better quality products (Holland, Rue, 1986)


The metaphor has a quick response to environment. The environment is irrelevant since what is relevant is how that environment can be utilised no matter the situation for it to be more productive. When the environment requires additional effort to be put, the firm will responds to this by encouraging every member of staff to exert more effort.

The organization is then willing to learn and this entails looking for new ideas which were none existent before. The organization gets ideas from within similar firms producing similar products. It can also train its employees on how to execute their duties. Senior management is always there to train their junior staff on better production ways and these juniors are always willing and ready to face such challenges (Argues Piepper, 1990)

The organizations must always adapt to market changes owing to the changing customer tastes and preferences. And the organization engages in vigorous market research to determine the customer’s needs at a given market place at a specified period of time aimed at improving turnover levels. The organization will attain its goals and continue effectively with its future operations when customer needs are satisfied (adopted from Ghanji, Dahlgaard, 2005)

Organisms being born have to start at a high expectation level. They d have vision and mission to be fulfilled. The end result of this is that this motivates the organization to greater heights of hard work aimed at achieving its mission and vision. The organization then progress with putting more effort which culminates in more output which is products and services of high quality that are likely to give rise to more revenue.

Unlike the machine, the organisms are capable of adapting to the environment more quickly as they are not fixed at one particular state hence make it flexible all the time, when new technology evolves, it is able to adapt to it more quickly. Organization also quickly responds to external environment to suppliers of raw materials and customers’ needs and also the government by obeying the regulations of operating legal business and paying tax. (Lewis, 2002)


The organization operates under a tough environment with challenges for instance high employee turnover rates and high initial amount of capital to start and continue with its operations. This kills its independence and has now to rely on the support from financial institutions in terms of loans to finance its operations (Gell, 1999)

The organization knows the one in charge since clarity of the level of authority in the organization lacks. This leads later to inefficiency because it is not clear who is supposed to report to whom. The organizations carry out business but have no control whatsoever of the problems facing them because of lack of experience proper methods of solving such problems (Supported by Hitchcock, 2001)


  1. David M Harris, Randy L Desimone; Human Resource Development, Dryden press publishers,1994
  1. Robert Benfari, Changing your Management Style, Lexington Books, 2000
  2. Pieper. R; Human Resource Management; Walter de Gruyte, 1990.


  1. Robert Lowson; Strategic Operations Management; Routledge, 2002

  1. Khanji K Ghopal, J Dahlgaard, Fundamentals of Total Quality Management, Routledge, 2005
  2. Mason Gell, Strategic Management for Today’s Libraries, ALA

     Editions, 1999

  1. D. Hitchcock; Environment and Business; Routledge, 2001

      8 C. Anderson, D. Miles; Business Management; Wiley, 2003

  1. M. Lewis; Operations Management; Routledge, 2002
  2. Abbas F Alkhafaji, Strategic Management: Formulation implementation and Control in a Dynamic Environment, Haworth press, 2003
  3. Phyllis G. Holland, Leslie W Rue, Strategic Management: Concepts and Experiences, Mc Graw-Hill, 1986
  4. John Ward’ D. Miles; Business management; International Labor Organization, 1996
  5. Michael L, Understanding Business Environment; Routledge, 2000

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