Various Ways to Look at Organizations (Metaphors)

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

Probably everyone in the workplace has their own conception of what "organization" means. As with most highly complex terms, everyone is right and everyone is wrong.

The concept of organizational culture is much like an organizational "personality". Organizations, like people, have life cycles.

Many people view organizational learning much like we view organisms to be learning. Organizations can accumulate and manage knowledge as well. There are a variety of books that describe other traits of organizations much like traits of people, e.g., depressed organizations, addictive organizations, etc.

One of the most common ways to look at organizations is as organizational systems. (This is the view that was used in this library when describing the concept of an organization.) This view is becoming common among professionals who study, teach and write about organizations. Practitioners who work with organizational management to improve organizations also tend to view organizations as systems. Note that machines, organisms, persons, groups, families, family dynasties are all systems, too.

Two people can be looking at the very same organization, but have completely different perspectives and language about the same organization. Unless you know the various ways to view organizations, you'll miss all the perspectives -- you'll miss the more accurate truth about the organization you're studying. You'll only see "one view of the elephant -- you'll grab the elephant's trunk and think it's a snake."
Organizational Lens -- How Different People Can View the Same Organization Very Differently


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For the Category of Organizational Development:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Related Library Topics

Recommended Books

Managing Organizational Change

Growing Your Organization



Managing Organizational Change

Consulting and Organization Development - Book Cover Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides complete, step-by-step guidelines to identify complex issues in for-profit or government organizations and successfully resolve each of them. This book is also helpful to organizations that are doing fine now, but want to evolve to the next level of performance. This is one of the truly comprehensive, yet practical, books about this complex subject! Includes online forms that can be downloaded. Many materials in this Library's topic about guiding change are adapted from this comprehensive book.
Consulting and Organization Development With Nonprofits - Book Cover Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development With Nonprofits
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides complete, step-by-step guidelines to identify complex issues in nonprofit organizations and successfully resolve each of them. This book is also helpful to organizations that are doing fine now, but want to evolve to the next level of performance. This is one of the truly comprehensive, yet practical, books about this complex subject! Includes online forms that can be downloaded. Many materials in this Library's topic about guiding change are adapted from this comprehensive book.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Growing Your Organization

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Also See for For-Profits

Strategic Planning -- Recommended Books

Business Development -- Recommended books

Financing Your Business -- Recommended Books

Product Development -- Recommended books

Planning and Project Management -- Recommended Books

Also See for Nonprofits

Strategic Planning -- Recommended Books

Social Entrepreneurship (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books

Capacity Building (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books

Fundraising -- Recommended Books

Program Management -- Recommended Books

Planning and Project Management -- Recommended Books

Capacity Building (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books




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