Last updated: June 19, 2019
Topic: BusinessCompany
Sample donated:


Machine Metaphor

Machine metaphor is still being use in the contemporary time by many companies and organization in which the objective views of the organization are predictable and thus, can be controlled. The principle of the machine metaphor was based on the belief that in order to realize effective management, it is important that the components of the organization are also managed and organized. Still, there are some elements of the company that cannot be controlled and machine metaphor will not apply which is very important to determine.

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Every business must have a machine like part, delivering products efficiently or machine like while being able to adapt to the changes in the society. Machine metaphor cannot be dispensed from organizations and companies not only in the contemporary time but in the future as well. Those companies who are competing for cost, quality and service need to be efficient and machine like. “Even evolving businesses need to machine-like if they are to be profitable” (McCrimmon, 2007).  The goal of every company is to gain profit while decreasing the cost of the product or service that they render to the people thus; every company must be machine like in order to achieve this goal. Machine metaphor cannot really be dispensed from contemporary organizations and companies.

Some things have to be considered in order to apply machine metaphor properly and in order for the organization to survive and to develop. A very important fact that has to be considered is that machine control techniques are only applicable to things and not to people, on the element of the organization in which the behaviour is predictable. Human behaviours, feelings and thoughts cannot be determined that makes it impossible to control. This is a misconception by most people in the management. It is the manager’s role to provide the workers with an environment in which they can perform their task well.  Just as Oduyibi (2008) states, the idea that machine control technique are only applicable to things rather than people is a very important matter that has to be realized by the leaders in any organization. The manager manages things rather than people and thus, machine metaphor applies only to elements that are predictable in which human beings are not included. In an organizational context, human being are considered to be agents whose behaviors are unpredictable rather than things that can be controlled. Just as every company desires to succeed and be profitable in order to keep the company going, since an organization is a living system as well, so is machine metaphor important in achieving this perspective.

Machine metaphor still applies to contemporary companies but the critical point is to identify the elements present in the organization whose behaviours are predictable in which machine metaphor can be applied. The failure of determining such component is sure to result in loses of the company that may also endanger the operation of the said company. Just as Oduyibi said, “Whether managing a corner store or a global conglomerate, the manager/leader must always remember that an organization is a socio-technical system and the machine metaphor should be applied only to the technical or machinistic elements” (2008). A mixed-initiative perspective must be applied since adaptive system must be applied to maintain efficiency and profit in any company and machine metaphor cannot be dispensed.







Odubiyi, J. (2008). The role of the machine metaphor in mixed-initiative organizational

leadership. Retrieved January 27, 2008 from

McCrimmon, M. (2007). Organizational metaphors. Retrieved January 27, 2008 from