Organism metaphor

If the practice were to go ahead with a new computer system, the practice would may become slightly more “machine” like in relation to efficiency, although they wouldn’t posses many of the other traits of a “machine”. The organism metaphor looks at the organisation as an ‘open system’, which means they have an interdependent relationship with the environment. Therefore, survival of the organisation is related how they can adapt in the changing environment. The organism metaphor is more appropriate in relation to the New Times Medical Centre, as healthcare is a continuingly changing industry.

It is important for the Medical Centre to keep up to date with advances in medicine and technology, in order to stay at the cutting edge and be able combat new diseases. The organism metaphor is therefore a good description of the New Time Medical centres current operation. The implementation of the new system would enable the clinic to improve on the strengths / traits of an “organism” as the system would improve the centre efficiency and allow it to react to changing in demand quicker, like the organism metaphor suggests. The organism metaphor is useful because it also looks at the human aspect of organisations.

For example when the system is implemented, its success will be improved if user participation is actively encouraged, staff motivation towards the system will be increased. The culture metaphor can be interpreted as Organisational culture which is the social construct of a ‘value systems’ and ‘norms’ shared by employees within a firm. Values are conceptual ideas about what people perceive to be good, right and desirable and ‘norms’ are approved social rules and guidelines regarding appropriate behaviour in certain situations.

Business organisations are societies in themselves, people working collectively to achieve the same overall objectives. The working culture of an organisation can have a massive influence on its success. Over the years the partners of the New Times Medical Centre have developed a strong culture (beliefs and values) which reflects in the way they operate the practice. The introduction of a new computer system will mean that changes need to be made within the practice and the employees need to be willing and open to new ideas.

The present culture within the practice may be a determining factor to whether the staffs are willing to accept change. Thus, it is essential for staff to be involved in the implementation stage and kept aware of what is going on. This is important so that the shared vision and beliefs that the practice have developed over the years is maintained and encouraged to continue. User participation is an important part of the design and implementation process. This is because the end user ultimately has to use the system.

It is important to value and utilize input from the ‘users’ because otherwise a system may be developed that fulfils the requirements in the eyes of the analyst but doesn’t satisfy the users requirements. This is why organisations need to involve its users with the development of there system. Users should be able to aid the developers and discuss any problems or improvements to the system. When the users and developers work together there is less likely to be inconsistencies in the original requirements and the final functionality of the system.

In relation to the New Times Medical Centre they should benefit from being a small firm, as they can all get involved in the development of the new system. There are three main types of user participation used in the development of the new system. Consultative participation – At this stage the main design is done by the system analyst, key users may be consulted about the change and users will normally be asked for general suggestions for the new system. This is the lowest form of user participation, thus disruption during this phase is minimal.

The application of the metaphors ‘machine’, ‘organism’, and ‘culture’ to the organisation of the medical centre. Each metaphor should be explained very briefly, together with comments on its usefulness in understanding both the present situation and the planned one. The …

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