Organizational Metaphors

Metaphors shape the ways in which we conceptualize and understand the organizations we investigate. They shape the research questions we ask, and the methods we use to answer those questions. They privilege certain issues while concealing others.

In industrial era: organization as machines,
1970s: organization-as-living systems
1980s: organization-as-cultures
1990s: organization-as-computers
Today: ‘It’s the network, stupid!”