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Analysis Essay of the Iba, University of Dhaka Based on the Metaphorical Paradigms Introduced by Gareth Morgan

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Analysis Essay of the IBA, University of Dhaka

Based on the Metaphorical Paradigms introduced by Gareth Morgan


Different images of organizations and management have been discussed by Gareth Morgan in his book ‘Images of Organization’ where he used several metaphors to describe different management practices of organizations. The metaphors include machine, organism, and brain among others. The objective of this essay is to analyze the case of Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University (IBA) using a selection of two metaphorical paradigms from either the: machine, organism, or brain metaphors.

In my essay, I will analyze IBA using organism and brain metaphors.

Description of IBA

IBA is the leading business school in Bangladesh. Since its inception in 1966, it is committed to highest educational standards which distinguishes it among the educational institutes of Bangladesh. This reputation has been achieved through a tradition of excellence and dedication to quality education and research. IBA graduates are highly sought after by the industry and IBA is proud of its students who have made outstanding contributions to various fields, both at home and abroad.

IBA began its journey by launching its flagship MBA program. In the 1970s, the MPhil and PhD programs were introduced. In response to the growing demand for business education at the undergraduate level, the BBA program was started in 1993. In 2007, the Executive MBA program was launched to cater to the growing demand for quality education among mid-career executives. DBA program was introduced in 2013. IBA also offers several certificate courses.

A degree from IBA is the most sought after business degree in the country. So, it is the most successful business school in the country. Its management practices is worth taking a deep look into.

The first Metaphorical Paradigm: Organization as Organisms

The term ‘organism’ is used to refer to any system of mutually connected and dependent parts constituted to share a common life and it focuses the nature of life activity. An organism is typically seen as aa combination of elements, different yet integrated, attempting to survive within the context of a wider environment (Spencer, 1873). The main emphasis of the open system approach is the close interactive relationship between organization and its environment. The survival of organization depends upon achievement of an appropriate relationship. The emphasis is placed upon

1. The “task environment” or direct interactions and “general environment” or environmental suprasystem

2. Interrelated subsystems: strategic, technological, managerial, cultural, structural

3. Establish conformity between different subsystems

Many management theories and studies have been developed based on this approach towards organization. The general systems approach (Katz and Kahn, 1966), contingency theory (Burns and Stalker, 1961; Lawrence and Lorsch, 1967) etc. are prominent.

The contingency theory states that

1. Different kinds of organizations are needed to deal with different market and technological conditions.

2. Organizations operating in uncertain and turbulent environments need higher degree of internal differentiation and interaction among departments: styles of organization may vary between organizational subunits because of difference in their sub environment.

Based on level of stability of environment (strategic, technological, human/cultural, managerial philosophy, etc.), Burns and Stalker developed a Machinistic-Organic Continuum and identified the following five type of organizations where the first is most machinistic and the last is most organic.

1. Machine bureaucracy

2. Divisionalized form

3. Professional bureaucracy: more autonomy to staff

4. Simple structure

5. Adhocacy

This approach toward organizational analysis also gave rise to two more theories. One of them is Law of natural selection which highlights that the environment selects which organization survives. This also highlights on the importance of resource limitations in shaping the growth, development and growth of an organization and the role of successful innovations in shaping new species of organization. The other is the theory of Organizational Ecology which states that evolution always happens in the ecology level, not in the organism/organization level and organization and the environment shapes each other.

Relevance of the organism metaphor to IBA

IBA is an organism comprising of many interdependent elements which include different functional areas as well as task areas. It has it faculty as well its other functional areas and functional staffs. Also, it has different programs attuned to different segments of the society. All these parts are inter related and support each other to survive in the wider immediate environment and general environment.

IBA’s different subsystems which include different programs has a relationship which support each other. The general curriculum of the programs are developed in a gradually incremental way. Also, the junior level programs are the stepping stones for the senior level programs. IBA also interacts with the environment. Looking at the requirements of the organizations and changing business environment, the curriculum needs to be updated.

Another thing, which IBA has already done is introduction of few courses in response to competition and demand from the community. So, the interaction with the environment is evident.

Let’s look at IBA from the Contingency theory point of view. This theory states that different organizations need to be at different point of machinistic-organic quantum based on the environment they operate on. IBA, due to its nature of work and the industry, is best suited for a professional bureaucratic model. This model gives a general guideline and work structure, but gives a lot of autonomy to the staff. IBA should operate best if it gives a basic guideline of teaching and allow the teaching staff the autonomy to design



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