Free «Organization Analysis» Essay
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Organic and Learning Perspectives
Experts have gone ahead and written articles differentiating between learning organization and organization learning. However, these two terms continue to be used interchangeably. Analyzing the relationships between the various models in the study of organizations, Morgan (2006) felt that learning and organic perspectives tend to complement each other. In his analysis, on the one hand, the organic perspective answers the questions related to “why”. On the other hand, learning perspective answers questions related to “how”. This statement is true in more ways than it is a fallacy. The following discussion will address the two parts appearing in this statement. It will describe the meaning of the organization perspectives and their relationship with the “why” and “how” respectively. Furthermore, it will establish the connection between the two perspectives and how they can be used complimentarily in order to establish utmost organization development. There will also be a short discussion that presents the ways that the statement may not be accurate as presented.
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The point here is to understand that one of the perspectives is learning organization and not organization learning. After establishing this difference, it is significant to understand the meaning of learning perspective in organization development. In stating the difference between learning organization and organization learning, Tsang (1997) stated that “organizational learning is a concept used to describe certain types of activity that take place in an organization while the learning organization refers to a particular type of organization in and on itself” (p. 74-75). In other words, a learning organization continually facilitates the learning of the employees and all the other members as it establishes a continual transformation.
The organic organization, on the other level, displays flexibility while it unveils the significance of external knowledge. From another angle, an organic organization has equal leveled employees. While communication presented itself as hub-networked, there were no specializations, hierarchies, classifications or job descriptions (Lewin and Regine 2006). This later established the teamwork aspect of developing an organization as has been adopted by many organizations in the contemporary times. Organic organizations were most recommended to the organizations that wanted to tackle successfully the changing times and environment. Towards the end of the twentieth century and into the new millennium, technology changed rapidly. This initiated a significant change in the organizations. There were other changes that were independent of technology development, yet they came anyway.
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Learning and the organic perspectives of an organization present the “formula” of becoming successful in contemporary days. Over the last decade or so, organizations have changed in order to embrace an all-inclusive kind of approach towards the developing organizations. The learning and organic perspectives offer this kind of inclusiveness. It incorporates strategies and techniques that are of relevance in today’s market (Barkin 2006, p. 21). Past theories, guiding strategies and other approaches were meant to guide organizations into maximizing their output in all arenas. These theories and approaches were also formed as an outcome of the organizations and the people present in those times. In the earlier periods, the bureaucratic system prevailed in many organizations. This contributed to the Weber’s bureaucracy as present in those times. According to this theory, rules, laws and hierarchies dominated the systems governing organizations.
Weber’s approach of managing organizations aligns with the mechanistic perspective of the organizations (Morgan 2006, p. 265). However, as times passed, there needed to be more comprehensive, sufficient, efficient and effective ways of handling the employees and the issues pertaining to the environment. This gave a rise to the more recent theories of management including the transformational and the transactional theories. As identified earlier, the organic perspective tackles the “why” issues relating to the organization. It is relevant to note that the “why” issues relate to the questions that explain the preference of choosing one technique over another or handling a situation in one way instead of using the other options available. It also relates to the issues that address the occurrence of the issues as they are occurring. For example, it may address the occurrence of the high turnover of the employees or the low feedback from the customers. Since the organic perspective incorporates teamwork and it is highly dependent on every area in an organization, the results are more accurate and dependable as compared to the mechanistic approach.
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Morgan explores the other complementary perspective referred to as the learning perspective. Through the learning perspective, the organization is able to address the “how” issues. This perspective explores the ways in which the problems identified in the “why” issues can be addressed or solved. As put, the learning perspective presents an organization as an entity that is constantly learning new things. Through the learning perspective, the organization is able to find diverse ways that can handle the identified issue. The perspective allows the team members to find the most competent and effective channels, techniques or approaches of handling an identified issue (Goh 1998). For example, it finds the ways of handling the high employee turnover or the low feedback levels. At a glance, one may state that the organic perspective enables the organization to form the team that will handle the problem identified through the means acquired through the learning.
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The transactional and transactional management approaches that may appear under the system theories tend to characterize the organic and learning perspectives. The system theories appreciate that an organization cannot survive on one particular pillar represented by the people (human relations) or the rest of the organization (organizations with the absence of the people). This was as advocated by the other theories including the human relations theories and the classical theories respectively (Barkin 2006, p.85). The organic perspective forms teams. It appreciates the relationships between the diverse sections of an organization (Teavica 1999, p. 87). It establishes that the managerial unit of the organization is as significant as the employee unit or the procurement and logistic unit. Thus, the teamwork not only identifies the issues causing the high employee turnover, but it also identifies the unsatisfactory results of the customers’ feedback. Through the learning perspective and the incorporation of teamwork, the organization is able to derive the most contemporary and suitable means of handling these issues.
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One of the organizations that can be classified as an organic organization and learning organization is Google. Various top magazines and other institutions concerned with the welfare of an organization and its employees highly rank Google (Google 2013). According to these organizations, people are able to identify with the things of the past. Google has identified the importance of its employees as well as it recognizes the rest of the organization. Through understanding an organization as a manifestation of interrelated systems, the organization has eradicated as many hierarchies and job specifications (Morand 1995, p. 831). Although the organization is as dependent on the employees as the employees are dependent on the organization, it has allowed the employees to work independently. The organization is one of the fastest growing organizations in the field of technology and in the market globally. Yet, it provides its employees with an environment that ranks the employees as some of the happiest and most satisfied employees globally.
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Through learning, the organization has learnt that making the employees to wear suites and limiting them to perform particular tasks with the guidance of some rules is not always highly productive. The organization allows the employees to have their own personal time where then can come up with their own projects. The Maslow Hierarchy of needs establishes that self-actualization is the top-most motivator of any employee or person (Skerlavaj et al. 2007, p. 350). In accordance to this theory, the organization allows the employees to use twenty percent of their work time on developing of their own projects. In addition, the organization allows the employees to develop their other talents/interests whether it is in the sports arena or the art field. It also provides resources and facilities that allow the employees to spend quality time with family and friends (Google 2013).
One may state that these actions align with the theories developed in the human relations era. However, the organization is not just focused on the employees. It provides quality products and services to its customers and suppliers. This explains why it has the largest search engine globally as well as the customers that are highly satisfied with its services and products. Through incorporating teamwork and learning the most important needs of both employees and customers, the organization has derived strategies that meet the needs. The employees will work as extremely hard as possible and as long as they are motivated appropriately. To many of these employees, money is not the ultimate motivator. Through learning, the organization understands that handling high turnover and employee satisfaction always starts at the recruitment level. Since it is a teamwork process, the founding partners of the organization (Larry Page and Sergey Brin) are present at the recruitment level (Google 2013).
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Organic organizations are not fixed. They are flexible enough to take action when it is time for changes (Lewin & Regine 2006, p. 22). Google has proved this flexibility. They knew that the times have changed where the workplace was a place feared by many. The organization has presented the workplace as a fun area to be around while the customers enjoy the services and products. Flexibility as compared to conservativeness is the preferred way of dealing with organizational issues as far as the organic perspective is concerned. The organic perspective allowed Google to clarify why organizations were receiving the same results or mark timing when it came to employee productivity. They realized that conservativeness was one of the main problems in these organizations. Through learning, they derived ways of bringing change from a unique angle. It brought remarkable results as identified.
Google is not the only company that has gone beyond the conservativeness of the other organizations. However, it ranks highly in many arenas relating to organizational performance. Tsang (1997, p. 77) expresses his relationship between organizational learning and learning organization. He feels that through learning organizations, the concerned parties are able to carry out organizational learning. This translates that it is a tool used to accomplish the other activity. In relating all these concepts, one can state that through learning organizations with the complementary aide of the organic perspective, the concerned parties are able to carry out organizational learning. GM Stalker and Tom Burns came up with the organic organization after people had doubt that there was this kind of an organization. The most commonly identified organization was the mechanistic one, which was also identified by the two experts (Redding 1994, p. 66). The learning perspective was further identified, which seemed to compliment the organic organization. The organic perspective establishes the modern company. Many companies are willing to integrate teamwork and new techniques that can aide to produce a more satisfactory performance in whatever field. Although there are organizations that are still in the bureaucratic system even though they claim that they are incorporating the learning perspective, many emerging companies are attempting to become organic.
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In the past decade or two, organizations have experienced many changes in the market. The competition has rapidly increased to the great heights. In the academic part, the employees are more qualified. Additionally, they are demanding for more as they become more aware of their rights. In the technological arena, the technology is changing a rapid rate. In the logistics and supplies, there is a company offering the same product more efficiently and cheaply. Organizations have been left with no option but to integrate the learning and organic perspectives in order to handle the changing environment. It is in the interest of the market that organizations adhere to the changes necessary for organizational growth.
It is clear that the organic perspective of an organization tackles the “why” issues while the learning perspective tackles the “how” issues. They are both complementary to each other. Unless the implementation process fails to take place as effectively as it should, the combination of these two perspectives will generate a highly successful organization as in the case of Google. Organizations should embrace teamwork as well as present some form of flexibility if not total as expected by the organic perspective. On the other hand, they should be willing to learn the changing environment in order to understand the areas that should incorporate flexibility. Mechanistic approaches are efficient. However, they are not necessarily effective. Modern organizations need to embrace the complimentary perspectives if they aim at establishing successful and high-performing organizations. Although one may choose to pursue the organic perspective solely. It may not necessarily produce the require results without the use of the learning perspective. Google and other organizations have proved the success of the combination.