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< previous page page_51 next page > Page 51 "Which metaphors make sense of this organisation's difficulties and concerns?" The tools provided by TSI to assist this process are the systems metaphors set out in Chapter 1. Different metaphors focus attention on different aspects of an organisation's functioning, as we have seen. Some concentrate on organisational structure, others highlight human and political aspects of an organisation. Some examples are: the organisation as a "machine" (closed system view); the organisation as an "organism" (open system view);
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the organisation as a "brain" (learning system view); the organisation as a "culture" (emphasis on norms and values); the organisation as a "team" (unitary political system); the organisation as a "coalition" (pluralist political system); the organisation as a "prison" (coercive political system). The main aspects of organisations highlighted, and those aspects neglected, by each metaphor will be disclosed in order to enhance discussion and debate.
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The outcome
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