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Organizations Are A Social Construct Essay

1010 words - 4 pages

Organizations are complex and paradoxical phenomena and there may be challenges in understanding them. A metaphor is used to understand one thing in terms of another. The use of different metaphors that lead to different explanations and theories of organizations helps us to think and see organizations from different perspectives. Each provides a certain view of the organization and can be convincing but it does not provide a clear picture of an organization. Therefore, by exploring the implications of different metaphors it is possible to understand the nature of organization. This essay focuses on whether organizations are socially constructed phenomena or not.
Organizations are instruments created to achieve other ends. The word organization which is derived from the Greek word ‘organon’ means a tool or instrument. Therefore, ideas such as tasks, goals, aims and objectives have become such fundamental organizational concepts. With the invention and production of machines during the industrial revolution in Europe and North America, concepts of organization really became mechanized. There is no hesitation that machines have become a very important part of our lives and has influenced every aspect of our day-to-day activities. Organizations too can be seen from a mechanical point of view. An organization that is designed and operates in machine like manner is called a bureaucratic organization. When we think of organizations as machines we see them as a machine made up of parts, where each part plays a clearly defined role in the functioning of the whole. Many of the organizations today can be seen or are expected to operate in a mechanical way. In many organizations we are expected to arrive at work on a given time, perform the fixed duties, take break at allotted hours and then continue tasks till work is over. Often the work is very mechanical and repetitive. For example, if you observe the staff working in Birmingham City University it can be noticed that they perform the same tasks daily. For instance in the library, Pages are usually responsible for putting returned books and other items in their proper places on the shelves. They are also responsible for keeping items in the right order . Another example of organizations that function according to similar principles are fast-food restaurants such as KFC, McDonalds and service organizations, where every action is preplanned, even when there is personal interaction with others. Employees are trained according to a set of instructions and are monitored in their performance. Fast-food restaurants monitor employee performance through observation checklist which indicates the degree to which a simple task like serving a customer can be mechanized, observed and evaluated in a mechanical way.
German sociologist Max Weber defined bureaucracy as a form of organization that focuses precision, speed, clarity, regularity, reliability, and efficiency is achieved through a fixed division of tasks,...

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