Organizations as machines, organizations as conversations: two core metaphors and their consequences.

@article{Suchman2011OrganizationsAM,
  title={Organizations as machines, organizations as conversations: two core metaphors and their consequences.},
  author={Anthony L. Suchman},
  journal={Medical care},
  year={2011},
  volume={49 Suppl},
  pages={
          S43-8
        }
}
  • A. Suchman
  • Published 1 December 2011
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Medical care
One factor contributing to the limited success of organizational change initiatives is the use of an outmoded conceptual model: the organization as machine. This metaphor leads to the creation of detailed blueprints for desired changes; invites unrealistic expectations of control; and creates anxiety, blame and defensiveness when events inevitably do not proceed according to plan, thus hindering the work. An alternative conceptualization--the organization as conversation--portrays an… 
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