Organizational analysis refers to the undertaking of various reviews on the diverse processes that are often employed by a given company. The analysis focuses on development issues, the working environment, the personnel, and the overall operations that the specific organization is involved. Through organizational analysis, the management can identify the various inherent problems in the organization. Such analysis also aims at establishing effective strategies that seek to deal with the identified challenges.
The major objective of the organizational analysis is to evaluate the design and the structure of the organization coupled with how they influence the entity’s systems, capability, and functionality (March, 2013). This paper will analyze Microsoft organization using the Morgan’s eight-part metaphorical framework. Besides, progressive comparative analysis, critical evaluation of the Microsoft organization, models employed by the company’s communication, and barriers to intellectual communication will be highlighted.
The Machine Metaphor
Machines are designed to operate efficiently and reliably to ensure uninterrupted delivery of the stipulated purpose. This scenario represents a typical organization. Organizations are machines because various tasks and assignments are allocated to different individuals similar to how multiple parts in a machine perform stipulated tasks (Oswick & Grant, 2015). In instances where certain managers view the organizations to be machines, their management links the different parts to resemble the interlocking parts of a machine.
In certain scenarios, the mechanistic mode can result in high efficiency or amount to unfortunate results when the organization fails to adopt fresh ideas and management approaches. The mechanical mode aids in the formation of bureaucratic organizations that upholds clarity, speed, efficiency and reliability that emanates from the formation of rigid allocation of tasks, comprehensive rules and regulations and stipulated hierarchy in supervision. The bureaucratic aspect disregards the social aspect of human beings because of routinizing every dimension of human life.
Just as rules are followed when operating a machine, Microsoft has given rules and regulations that govern the conduct of employees (Hearn & Rosinger, 2014). Rules govern proper bookkeeping, proper handling of customers, effective presentation, and auditing of the financial statement. To ensure efficiency, various managers are obligated to undertake the stewardship of various departments that must work as a team.
The release manager must ensure policies and processes are followed when designing specific software while the marketing manager focuses on how the company will increase its customer. Other managers head various departments that include, shipping, production, sales, operations planning, businesses intelligence, purchasing among others. These departments can be equated to numerous components that make up a given machine thereby depicting that organizations are machines (Morgan, 2006).
The Organism Metaphor
Different species of organization thrive in different environments. For instance, the bureaucratic organizations demonstrate more efficiency in stable environments that are dominated by minimal competition. The employees of a given organization possess complex needs that must be fulfilled for performance efficiency to be attained in the work place. The needs range from the fundamental, security, ego, and self-actualization needs.
Similar to organisms, organizations are made up of different subsystems that influence their functionality. The various subsystems include technological, strategic, managerial, structural, and human-cultural subsystems. Prosperous organizations also evolve by forming affective structures and appropriate processes for handling varying challenges that accrue from their external environments (Morgan, 2006).
The various departments in the Microsoft organization are intertwined. My reflection on how various employees in different sections work as a team to achieve defined goals corresponds to the functionality of a typical organism that is made of different organs. Different stakeholders in Microsoft ensure collective communication and good linkage to achieve a common end. Any organism functions best when its survival needs are met.
Through motivation of its employees, Microsoft desires to achieve the satisfaction of their needs thus resulting in efficiency within the organization. I consider Microsoft as an organismic organization because it is adaptable to changing environment by embracing technological advancement as compared to other bureaucratic organizations that are resistant to change (Oswick & Grant, 2015).
The Brain Metaphor
The brain is responsible for processing given data into particular information that is useful for the decision-making processes just as organizations are dominated by information processing systems. Effective information processing aids in the formulation of rational decisions that result in complex systems deployed in data management in different departments such as logistics, sales, finance, distribution among other areas.
Further, proper information processing help in the formulation of design and implementation teams that deliberate given actions for the rest of the organization (Morgan, 2006). Additionally, an organization is a brain due to its capability to undertake various strategic measures and anticipate certain changes in the future.
The Microsoft information systems are key in determining how given facts spread and affect various processes (Ngwenyama, Introna, Myers, & DeGross, 2013). The information required during the organizational decision-making process must be channeled to the company while recipients should receive the intended feedback. The information system provides a platform where different ideas, sentiments, opinions, or even dissatisfaction can be conveyed to the relevant authorities. I suggest Microsoft as one of the organizations that have efficient communication system as opposed to other competitors. The communication model used by Microsoft is shown in the diagram below.
Some of the intellectual communication challenges that are witnessed by Microsoft employees include ethnocentrism and the lack of confidence when conveying information to given audiences. Another intellectual communication barrier is the anxiety that hinders an individual’s language ability and capability to use verbal and non-verbal cues (Ngwenyama et al., 2013).
The Culture Metaphor
In its capacity, the organization depicts a cultural phenomenon that is subject to change depending of the prevailing development stage of the society. The immergence of organizational society has wiped off the traditional cultural patterns that emphasize social order, values, and belief systems. Modern organizations have adopted the corporate culture that is characterized by mini-societies. The subgroups exhibit distinctive cultural and subcultural patterns.
Some given organization considers working together while others prefer fragmented subgroups that think and act independently. The belief patterns are supported by given operating rituals and norms that govern the operations of the organization (Morgan, 2006). According to my opinion, the flow of power within a given organization depicts a specific culture adopted by the entity because it stipulates how authority is transmitted over time. Besides, the routine activities that the employees and the board of management engage in defines their way of life and that is what I regard as a culture (Hearn & Rosinger, 2014). Lasting commitments that employees and other stakeholders make to serve the organization becomes their culture.
Microsoft has adopted an effective work culture that enables employees to respect diversity and encourage inclusion to achieve its missions and strategies. Educational and development advantages that aid different employees in shaping their career paths are a critical organizational culture. I also view Microsoft as an excellent platform that cultivates a culture of innovation and increased productivity.
Microsoft has a better culture as compared to other organization because it has programs that foster proper leadership and management as well as shared mission and vision that uphold diversity as portrayed by different societal values, rituals, and belief systems. The staff members are involved in several duties such as purchasing, sales, production, and others resulting in a given organizational culture.
The Political Metaphor
Every organization has inherent characteristics similar to a political system. The political aspect is evidenced by the flow of power and authority as well as how conflicts emanate from unbalanced interactions of varying interest groups. I see an organization as a political entity because it has a defined chain of command that stipulates who is liable to delegate and assign roles. Organizations have amicable ways of resolving conflicts that emerge from power imbalances thereby restoring the unity of purpose. Organizations’ decisions must be controlled to suit the stipulated objective of increased return on investment while considering ways to mitigate future uncertainties (Hassard, Kelemen, & Cox, 2012).
Similar to a political system, an organization must control the available resources that comprise financial, technology, labor, and time. Managers of most organization emphasize superior-subordinate relationships, power, and authority. Some prefer using the authoritarian method to achieve their duties while others encourage democratic models when controlling and directing employees. Politics is essential in the life of any organization because divergent interests demand a means for reconciliation that can only be achieved through the political efforts of negotiation and reconciliation (Morgan, 2006).
According to my view, Microsoft’s participation in the public policy process corresponds to the functionality of a given political system. Microsoft is also engaged in the taking obligatory responsibility by ensuring proper reporting and governance. By behaving as a political entity, I suggest that the organization has achieved success in resolving conflicts and tensions that emerge from varying individual interests in the workplace culture. Microsoft has developed strong expediency coalitions that work to achieve the expected goals, thus creating a favorable working environment in opposed to other organization where impractical coalitions are inherent.
The Dominion Metaphor
Organizations have been affiliated with processes that encourage social domination. Certain individual and groups illegally impose their individual will on others and especially in modern organizations. The linkage of organizational achievement to exploitation has taken root thus demonstrating instances of domination. The power relations exhibited by the organization are asymmetrical in nature where the minority works to meet the needs and satisfaction of the majority (Boxenbaum & Rouleau, 2011). The bureaucratic organizations form and sustain structures that encourage domination creating a sense of social disorder.
Coercion by direct force and threats and imposition of an individuals will on others are possible acts of domination in the modern organizations. Most organizations have legitimized the act of domination and thus it is considered normal because the superiors have the right to demand while the subjects are obligated to obey (Morgan, 2006). Leaders of various departments portray dominion over their subordinates by delegating authority as well as duties.
According to my assessment, Microsoft is colonized by the attainment of the organizational goals, as the corporate interest comes first. This aspect depicts an aspect of dominion because the minority employees must work to fulfill the satisfaction requirements of the increasing customer base. Microsoft also tends to maintain the aspect of power dominion over other organization that manufactures a similar type of products.
I assess Microsoft to express its dominion by discriminating some of its employees as approved by various lawsuits against the organizations by different employees. All employees must fully commit their lives to serve the organization, which is domination because the workers are not sovereign in the way they conduct their operations. They must conform to stipulated organizational requirements with or without their personal consent (Oswick & Grant, 2015).
The Flux and Transformation Metaphor
At any point in time, the organization will demonstrate instances of instability, oscillations, and cyclic fluctuation in their operations depending on the contemporary market and production status. Instability emerges when a given organization becomes egocentric thus failing to adopt new developments to cope with the frequent changing trends in both competition and technology advancement (Boxenbaum & Rouleau, 2011).
Changes in an organization come from varying relationships between systems and the associated environments where they operate. Change also emerges from tensions and strains that are inherent in circular relations as well as tensions among opposites (Morgan, 2006).
Microsoft has exhibited various transformations in the response to constant changes in the organization. The transformations have been forwarded to achieve a state of dynamic equilibrium through the deployment of systematic wisdom. I suggest that most of the changes witnessed in the organization have originated from tension instabilities. I also propose that transformations within the organization are caused by rules of cause and effect and the organization has an inherent capacity to rejuvenate automatically.
The Psychic Prison Metaphor
An organization may be trapped in the world of shadows without understanding what is trending in the real world. This imprisonment demands the organization to adopt obsessive means of controlling their operations while paying less or no attention to other controls that could produce better outcomes. Often, organizations tend to dwell on achievements and accomplishments that lead to eventual downfall because their perceived success turns to become their disadvantage (Hassard et al., 2012). The psychic prison metaphor views organization as socially formed realities that are trapped in their own powers and existence without exercising dominion over those who created them (Morgan, 2006).
Microsoft has moved from the world of shadows and denial and embraced highly rewarding changes in the attainment of their goals. Through discouraging the elements of stagnation, the process of problems solving has become easy as alternative ways of thoughts, opinions, and actions have been deployed. I associate this progress to the flexibility and cost-effective workflow solutions that are inherent in the organization (Hearn & Rosinger, 2014). To achieve better communication, Microsoft has integrated traditional approaches that are procedural to modern models that richly describe group dynamics and human interactions.
The organizational analysis is a review process where various aspects such as development, human resource, and the environment of a given organization are considered. To aid in the effective analysis of any typical organization, Morgan’s eight-part metamorphic framework is deployed. The eight metaphors include organism, machine, political, culture, psychic prison, brain, flux, and transformation and the dominion metaphors.
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Ngwenyama, O., Introna, D., Myers, M., & DeGross, J. (2013). New Information Technologies in Organizational Processes: Field Studies and Theoretical Reflections on the Future of Work. New York, NY: Springer.
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