As Adam Smith used a metaphor to described that, in the presence of competition, individuals pursuing selfish economic ends would be led ‘as if by an invisible hand’ to maximize the well-being of society as a whole; we are going to use the same language resource to understand what is an organization. The objective is to understand, because reality escapes us. Reality is complex and in order to comprehend the real world we are going to play with Language.
The Organization as a Machine
This model is typical of the bureaucracy, born with the industrial world.
The world is seen through a machine in order to accomplish mass production.
The principles were to organize regular and repetitive work through division of labour.
The Organization as an Organism
Under this scheme the organization as a living creature may get sick, may be healthy, and we can reinforce this model with more metaphors.
This model appears when biology tries to explain how biologic systems relate with the environment, also known as the dependency theory.
The advantage of this model is the awareness of the environment, focusing the surroundings.
The Organization as a Brain
This is the type of Organization at the beginning of the new millennium. The organization learns from the mistakes it makes. The role of the brain is to learn. The brain is able to give answers and to create. The challenge of nowadays is to create learning structures, intelligent organizations, flexible as to react to the changing environment. Memory is distributed in every brain cell through an enormous connectivity. Every member of the organization has a brain and works as a brain cell of the organization.