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Images of Organization

Images of Organization

June 2006 | 520 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
In the twenty years since its first publication, Images of Organization has become a classic in the canon of management literature. The book is based on a very simple premise: that all theories of organization and management are based on implicit images or metaphors that lead us to see, understand, and manage organizations in distinctive yet partial ways. Gareth Morgan provides a rich and comprehensive resource for exploring the complexity of modern organizations internationally: he translates leading-edge theory into leading-edge practice.

New to the Updated Edition: the author has revised all references and updated tables; his new preface situates this classic theory in today's business environment; and instructor's resources to aid classroom teaching are now available on CD-ROM.

Images of Organization challenges and reshapes how we think about organization and management in the most fundamental way. The new Updated Edition makes this monumental work available to a new generation of students and business leaders worldwide.

Part I. An Overview
Part II. Some Images of Organization
2. Mechanization Takes Command: Organizations as Machines
Machines, Mechanical Thinking, and the Rise of Bureaucratic Organization

The Origins of Mechanistic Organization

Classical Management Theory: Designing bureaucratic organizations

Scientific Management

Strengths and Limitations of the Machine Metaphor

3. Nature Intervenes: Organizations as Organisms
Discovering Organizational Needs

Recognizing the Importance of Environment: Organizations as Open Systems

Contingency Theory: Adapting Organization to Environment

The Variety of the Species

Contingency Theory: Promoting Organizational Health and Development

Natural Selection: The Population-Ecology View of Organizations

Organizational Ecology: The Creation of Shared Futures

Strengths and Limitations of the Organismic Metaphor

4. Learning and Self-Organization: Organizations as Brains
Images of the Brain

Organizations as Information Processing Brains

Creating Learning Organizations

Cybernetics, Learning, and Learning to Learn

Can Organizations Learn to Learn?

Guidelines for "Learning Organizations"

Organizations as Holographic Brains

Principles of Holographic Design

Strengths and Limitations of the Brain Metaphors

5. Creating Social Realty: Organizations as Cultures
Culture and Organization

Organization as a Cultural Phenomenon

Organization and Cultural Context

Corporate Cultures and Subcultures

Creating Organizational Reality

Culture: Rule Following or Enactment?

Organization: The enactment of a Shared Reality

Strengths and Limitations of the Cultural Metaphor

6. Interests, Conflict, and Power: Organizations as Political Systems
Organizations as Systems of Government

Organizations as Systems of Political Activity

Analyzing Interests

Understanding Conflict

Exploring Power

Managing Pluralist Organizations

Strengths and Limitations of the Political Metaphor

7. Exploring Plato's Cave: Organizations as Psychic Prisons
The Trap of Favored Ways of Thinking

Organization and the Unconscious

Organization and Repressed Sexuality

Organization and the Patriarchal Family

Organization, Death, and Immortality

Organization and Anxiety

Organization, Dolls, and Teddy Bears

Organization, Shadow, and Archetype

The Unconscious: A Creative and Destructive Force

Strengths and Limitations of the Psychic Prison Metaphor

8. Unfolding Logics of Change: Organization as Flux and Transformation
Autopoiesis: Rethinking Relations With the Environment

Enactment as a Form of Narcissism: Organizations Interact With Projections of Themselves

Identity and Closure: Egocentrism Versus Systemic Wisdom

Shifting "Attractors": The Logic of Chaos and Complexity

Managing in the Midst of Complexity

Loops, Not Lines: The Logic of Mutual Causality

Contradiction and Crisis: The Logic of Dialectical Change

Dialectical Analysis: How Opposing Forces Drive Change

The Dialectics of Management

Strengths and Limitations of the Flux and Transformation Metaphor

9. The Ugly Face: Organizations as Instruments of Domination
Organization as Domination

How Organizations Use and Exploit Their Employees

Organization, Class, and Control

Work Hazards, Occupational Disease, and Industrial Accidents

Workaholism and Social and Mental Stress

Organizational Politics and the Radicalized Organization

Multinationals and the World Economy

The Multinationals as World Powers

Multinationals: A Record of Exploitation?

Strengths and Limitations of the Domination Metaphor

Part III. Implications For Practice
10. The Challenge of Metaphor
Metaphors Create Ways of Seeing and Shaping Organizational Life

Seeing, Thinking, and Acting in New Ways

11. Reading and Shaping Organizational Life
The Multicom Case

Interpreting Multicom

Developing and Detailed Reading and "Storyline"

Multicom From Another View

"Reading" and Emergent Intelligence

12. Postscript
Bibliographic Notes

The Machine Metaphor

The Organismic Metaphor

The Brain Metaphor

The Culture Metaphor

The Political Metaphor

The Psychic Prison Metaphor

The Flux and Transformation Metaphor

The Domination Metaphor

The Challenge of Metaphor

Reading and Shaping Organizational Life



An excellent book; this book delivers its content in an easy and very accessible manner, students really engaged with this book and the feedback was positive all round. This book is a must read for anyone looking at the workings of an organization.

Mr Gavin Brown
Business School, Dublin City University (DCU)
September 3, 2014

It is more appropriate for the doc level class, where we do use it.

Dr Afsaneh Nahavandi
Leadership Studies, University Of San Diego
August 25, 2014

Morgan does an elegant job of framing organization theory in vivid language and a series of accessible conceptual frameworks - this is a terrific text for a management class

Dr Jane Hansberry
Grad School Of Public Affairs, Univ Of Colorado-Denver
August 25, 2014

The book says it all.

Mrs Tawa Edwards
Year 0, Greenwich School of Management
May 15, 2014

An excellent book very helpful for undergraduate and postgraduate students interested organisational dynamics and change

Rita Klapper
Strategy & Marketing, University of Huddersfield
February 3, 2014

Th ebook is useful in supplementing knowledge to students who are taking organizational analysis under the HRM selection of courses.

Dr Norhayati Zakaria
School of Administrative & Financial Services, Saudi Electronic University
March 26, 2013

comprehensive; multiple perspectives

Dr Duncan Waite
Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education and School Psychology, Texas State University - San Marcos
October 25, 2012

Well structured and interesting. Would though like and appreciate teaching instructions for the book. Some are awailable on internet but would be easier for us training students have more input on each case (metaphor) and how to match these to real life situations.

Dr Ossi Pesämaa
Entrepreneurship, Management and Organisation, Hanken School of Economics
May 7, 2012

Perfect - me the learning outcomes of the course.

Dr Sue Kavli
College Of Business, Dallas Baptist University
February 14, 2012

A really good book - but discovered it would be too sophisticated for my students at CSU.

Dr Sharon Johnson
Business Economics Dept, Charleston Southern University
December 8, 2011

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