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Objective By the end of the class you will be able to… 1. Recognize the difference between a machine and a systems metaphor to describe organizational processes. 2. Know about how the cultural metaphor, for understanding organizations, was developed to improve organizational performance.
The Machine Metaphor The machine metaphor didn’t convince some theorists because not all organizations behave like machines, are replaceable, and predictable.
The Systems orOrganismic Metaphor Organizations are complex organisms that need to interact with their environment to survive.
The Systems orOrganismic Metaphor Distinction and relations of molecules, cells, complex organisms, species and ecology are similar to those of: Individuals Groups Organizations Populations Social ecology
The Systems orOrganismic Metaphor Bertalanffy, a theoretical biologist, was one of the key founders. Katz & Kahn, two organizational psychologists applied the theory to explain the processes of organizational behavior and communication. Organizations are complex open systems that require interaction to survive.
System Metaphor Systems are made of system components Cells and Organs People and Departments in Biology in Organizations
System Components Hierarchical order Interdependence Permeability Are organized in highly complex subsystems and supersystems These subsystems are composed of smaller work groups and individuals
Hierarchical ordering The hospital is also part of a large supersystem called health care industry. Hospitals Clinics Insurance companies Pharmaceuticals companies
System Components -Interdependence The components of a system are interdependent The breakdown of one component is going to breakdown other components and eventually, the whole system is not going to work.
System Components -Interdependence Organizations are Interdependent Surgical unit can’t function without test results from the laboratory. Laboratories rely on the purchasing department for supplies. Personnel and business offices deal with the paperwork of compensation and insurance.
System Components-Permeability Permeable boundaries allow information and materials to flow in and out. The human body must be open to the environment to get air, food and water for survival.
System Components-Permeability Hospitals and its units must be open and share information so that patients, information and resources can move into and out.
System Components-Processes Systems input materials of information from the environment through its permeable boundaries. The system then works on these inputs with some kind of transformational process. Finally, the system returns the transformed output to the environment.
System Components-Processes Two kinds of processes Exchange – input/output Feedback – information that helps to facilitate the interdependent functioning of system components. It changes the system.
System Components-Processes Two types of feedback 1. Negative, corrective, deviation-reducing: – maintains system functioning
System Components-Processes Two types of feedback 1. Positive, growth, deviation-amplifying - change system functioning through growth and development
Cybernetic SystemsTheory Cybernetics is the discipline that studies communication and control in living beings and the machines built by man. A cybernetic system emphasizes the role of feedback, especially corrective feedback, in maintaining systems working.
Cybernetic Systems Theoryin performance review Gina is a pharmaceutical salesperson •She seats down with her supervisor Rick to discuss her job performance.
Cybernetic Systems Theoryin performance review • Together, Rick and Gina decide that she should improve her sales by 10% over the next quarter. • They plan some strategies to meet this goal. • Gina should make more phone calls and improve the service to her accounts.
Cybernetic Systems Theoryin performance review• Over the next 3 months, Rick monitors Gina’s performance using a sales report that she files.• In the next performance review meeting, Rick and Gina discuss the fact that sales improved but only by 2%.
Cybernetic Systems Theoryin performance review• Then, both decide that Gina should begin using telemarketing strategies to reach the 10%.
Cybernetic System-Communication, controland corrective feedback tokeep systems working
Cybernetic SystemsTheory • Rick could also continue to analyze Gina’s performance with the use of a cybernetic model, mapping out differences in • GoalsCorrective feedback is • Mechanismsimportant to maintain • Performancesystem working • Feedback over time
Weick’s Theory ofOrganizing Weick’ theory is important in the communication filed because he used communications as a basis of human organizing and provided a rationale for understanding how people organize.
Weick’s Theory ofOrganizing Weick developed a new way of looking at the ways organizations and leaders function and think. organizations are not structures made of positions and roles but communication activities. When people go through daily interactions, their activities create organization. Managers today have to manage unmanageable situations, which force them to act more than to think. The perfect solution would be to act and think at the same time.
Weick’s Theory ofOrganizing Weick emphasizes the importance of Focus on success. Use rules or procedures, and communication cycles to set patters that make sense. Look for flaws and problems to prevent disasters.
Weick’s Theory ofOrganizing His key theoretical term was equivocality, which means uncertainty, complication, ambiguity. When equivocality is low, organizations can rely on established ways of doing things and thinking about events.
Weick’s Theory ofOrganizingWhat happen when a surprise or something shocking happens?
Weick’s Theory ofOrganizingDo you think that a surprise requires a different way of thinking about what we are doing?
Prescriptive Views ofCulture During the last part of the 20th Century, the concept of “culture” took business and academic community by storm Metaphor of culture resonated Cultural metaphor opened up new areas of research Culture became part of everyday talk
Prescriptive Views ofCulture The cultural metaphor is based on the field of anthropology, which study the cultures of nations tribes and ethnic groups.
Deal and Kennedy’s“Strong Cultures” Business success can be enhanced if develops a “strong” culture. If an organization has the components of a strong culture, it will be a better place for individuals to work and will improve individual and organization performance.
Deal and Kennedy’s“Strong Cultures” 4 Key components of a “strong” culture Values Heroes Rites and rituals Cultural network
Values Values are the beliefs and visions that members hold for an organization 3M – innovation Prudential – stability Apple - quality
Heroes Are the individuals who represent the company values. People know them through the stories and myths of an organization.
Rites and Rituals Ceremonies organized by companies to celebrate its values.
Cultural Network Communication system that organizations use to establish and reinforce the values Formal organizational channels: newsletters, memorandums, reports, surveys Informal interaction of employees: e- mail, conversations
Have you seen thesecomponents in yourorganization?
Cultural Researchers Cultural researchers seek to describe and understand complex ways in which organizational culture is developed and maintained. Rites Metaphors Ceremonies Stories Values Communication rules Belief systems Hallway talk
Organizational CulturesAre Often Ambiguous Many scholars argue that we now live in a postmodern world that is: Multifaceted Fragmented Fast-moving Difficult to understand In this environment, organizational culture might also be in a state of uncertainty.
Schein’s Model ofOrganizational Culture Schein - management scholar and consultant. Interested in the role of leaders in development and maintenance of an organizational culture.
A Definition of Culture Culture of a social group is a group phenomenon. A group learns basic assumptions to solve its problems of external adaptation and internal integration when enter an organization. It is related to the human need of stability, consistency and meaning.
A Definition of Culture A creative process for building a culture is when new members interact with old members
Level 1: Artifacts Physical and social environment
Level 1: Artifacts Architecture Dress Art Written documents
Level 2: Values Represents the beliefs about how things need to be done in the company Hard work – employees spend long hours at the office Innovation – employees are rewarded for their new and better ideas
Level 2: Values Important points Organizations don’t have values, but employees do. The organizational founder or leader play a critical role in shaping the culture. Sometimes behavior and values don’t match; it’s maybe only an aspiration for the future.
Level 3: Assumptions Assumptions have become such a natural part of the way they are or the way they do things. Change is good, innovation is welcome Electronic or physical ideas boxes Bonuses for new ideas Relaxed atmosphere to encourage creative thinking
Level 3: Assumptions Organizations also exist where assumptions don’t match with the values or where values are not reflected in a behavior. Fragmented subcultures Culture in transition
A Model of Culture Schein’s model oversimplifies nature of organizational culture and the role of communication in shaping a culture. Provides helpful heuristic for looking at multiple indicators and assumptions.
High ReliabilityOrganizations Example of how cultural assumptions and values are expected to permeate the values and behavior of organizational members.
High ReliabilityOrganizations Organizations engaged in production and service that require extraordinary attention to avoid error (error-free behavior). If they uphold high safety standards, they must cultivate a culture of reliability.
Methods for StudyingOrganizational Culture Ethnography Study organizational culture as a “text” to be read: watch interactions intense observation participate in process examine training manuals talk with employees
Methods for StudyingOrganizational Culture Ethnographer creates a mini-theory Report takes form of “cultural tale” or storytelling.