books, cognoise

Why is family a bad metaphor for organization?

I have always felt strongly against the use of the family metaphor on organizations for various reasons

  1. Family is not run for profit
  2. Family cares for the weakest most and organizations care least for the weakest
    1. In times of crisis in a family there is lot of sacrifice at the top
  3. In family there are no multiple stake holders with conflicting demands like employee demanding more salary versus investor demanding cost controls, which forces organizations to resort to point 2
  4. Family does not evaluate for performance (can you imagine rating your dad against a benchmark dad or he evaluating you)

You can find apt metaphors/Images of organization elsewhere including  machines, organisms, cultures, brain, psychic prisons, and domination instruments.

Thanks to Venkat from ribbonfarm for the pointer. btw have you read the latest post by Venkat?…


2 thoughts on “Why is family a bad metaphor for organization?

  1. Actually this post does not deserve the disproportionate views that it is getting in this blog, only because I have a track back to GP and I happened to read it the same day when Venkat posted it. And that day I was feeling a heightened sense of nausea on organizations using deeply personal metaphors like family.

    Nevertheless I am a great believer in GP and clearly puts the organizational thinking in right terms and also gives you useful trends to think on.

    You may find the google book link useful, and possibly the rest of the blog too.


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