The Demise of the Management Machine Essay

The Demise of the Management Machine

            The long-standing machine metaphor implemented through classical management theory implies the command and control of compliance throughout the organization division of labor.  Communicative strategies are strictly ordered from the powerful few. Implicit in this top-down management structuring is the obsession with the most growth of productivity and profit.

            In this context of driving change instead of cultivating change, classical management communication becomes preoccupied with lowering the bottom line while increasing productivity.  This is accomplished through the metaphor of the machine: the most efficient and predictable strategy for organizational production (Axley).  The effects that are most coveted are the tangible and measurable ones, namely profit and productivity instead of the intangible effects of worker morale and satisfaction.  Machines imply the need for mechanics, not necessarily people.

            In today’s modern environment, management communication is more concerned with enabling employees to reach their full potential by encouraging people to become committed to their careers instead of simply complying with the orders from management and keeping the machine running at full speed.

            The distribution of power will continue to be pyramidal if the classical top-down line of communication continues to persist.  The bottom line will never be low enough and workers will comply with management for fear of punishment, but they will not commit to their jobs because they are thought of as cogs in the machine of productivity and profit motive.

Works Cited

Axley, Stephen. (2002). How does your garden grow? Industrial Management. Retrieved 17 February 2009, from