Organization Theory – Learning Journal: Organizations as Brains and Social Domination Organizations as Brains and Social Domination In an article entitled “Leading Brain-Like Organizations: Toward Synthesis And Practical Guidelines” written by Tatevik Avetyan, an Honors College Theses published online by the Pforzheimer Honors College on 2006 proffered pertinent issues relative to the metaphor that sees organizations as brains. Avetyan (2006) presented a comparative analysis between the human brain and an organization. From among the similarities between the human brain and organizations noted, the following are noteworthy: “the human brain is an open social system; it requires proper collection and analysis of information; and it is comprised of units and subunits that perform unique functions” (Avetyan, 2006, p.
13). Likewise, it was also emphasized that just like organizations, “the human brain is a well-balanced structure in terms of differentiation and integration; centralization and decentralization; standardization and mutual adjustment” (Avetyan, 2006, p. 13). Concurrently, on the disparities side, the author indicated areas such as flexibility, structure, and degrees of competitiveness and cohesiveness. The summarized comparative analysis appears below: Similarities and Differences between Organizational and Brain Structure Similarities 1.
Organizations and Brains are mechanisms for information-processing. 2. Organizations and Brains are networks. 3. Organizations and Brains are designed with varying degrees of differentiation and integration, centralization and formalization. 4. Organizations and Brains have both mechanistic and organic characteristics. Differences 1. Organizations tend to be more flexible whereas Brains tend to be more rigid. 2. Organizations have taller hierarchical structure whereas Brains have flatter structure. 3. Organizations have more internal competition whereas Brains have team cohesiveness. Source: Avetyan, 2006, p. 17 This is an very informative and comprehensive article that compares an organization to the human brain.
Likewise, through actual case studies of organizations such as Microsoft and Enron, the author tried to apply the research hypotheses and effectively concluded that “structure ensures an entity’s success or failure as evidenced by the human brain… more and more organizations must become more “brain-like”, that is, be able to adopt the correct type of structure” (Avetyan, 2006, p. 24). In terms of seeing the organization as a process of domination, the paper written by Xavier Leflaive entitled “Organizations as Structures of Domination” and published in the Sage Journals in 1996 discussed areas that touched on descriptors of power, domination, hierarchy, reflexivity, surveillance, and critical theory.
The article was likewise published online by the CBS Interactive Resource Library. Consistent with the information that were discussed in the course, organizations were seen as vehicles of operating for the selfish interests of achieving the goals of a few at the expense of many. (Leflaive, 1996). As emphasized by Leflaive, “organizations are best portrayed as structures of domination, where power and domination refer to a collective capacity to act.
They are fragile, transient accomplishments, momentarily concentrating resources for collective action” (p. 1). The author likewise stressed the study was part of a comprehensive research which depicts the organization as reflective social systems (Leflaive, 1996, p. 1). It likewise manifests its existence as part of the society where its operations influence and are influenced by external factors that either strengthen or limit their operations and existence. References Avetyan, T. (2006). Leading Brain-Like Organizations: Toward Synthesis And Practical Guidelines. Retrieved June 11, 2012, from digitalcommons. pace. edu: http: //digitalcommons. pace. edu/cgi/viewcontent. cgi? article=1038&context=honorscollege_theses&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww. google. com. ph%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3Dorganizations%2Bas%2Bbrains%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D8%26ved%3D0CG0QFjAH%26url%3Dht Leflaive, X. (1996, January). Organizations as Structures of Domination.
Retrieved June 11, 2012, from Sage Journals: http: //oss. sagepub. com/content/17/1/23.abstract or http: //findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m4339/is_n1_v17/ai_18347915/