Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Welcome to the CST 452 Blog

You've found it! I encourage you to bookmark this blog and review it regularly. Feel free to post thoughts you have about the material we are studying. Read the comments of your classmates and feel free to respond to them. You are always welcome to go back to previous comments and respond to responses.

With any luck we can create an interesting online dialogue about what I hope you will find to be really interesting material.

Let me know if you have any ideas how to make this blog even more useful.

The Introduction chapter is brief but introduces the approach of the text (and the course). Don't underestimate the power of the approach to metaphor that Morgan is introducing. Think about how he expands the idea far beyond the "literary" notion of metaphor that most of us have been introduced to. Use this brief chapter as an opportunity to stretch your blog writing legs a bit. Feel free to think expansively and put yourself into this dialogue about the study of organizations.

Have fun! Use your brain. Share.

--Rick

28 comments:

Blogger32 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blogger32 said...

After reading the first chapter of Morgan, and getting a background of how metaphors will be used in this class to view theories, I am feeling much more interested in this approach than I was in cst 350. I think it will be helpful to learn about the different metaphors in viewing organizations to broaden our perspectives. It will also be refreshing to spend more time on fewer approaches than in cst 350....here there is one metaphor per chapter....before we did way too much material in each chapter. The class seems like it will be a fun, laid back group, too, so that will help!

LizC452 said...

I think that the concept of the metaphor is really interesting. I took CST350 a year ago, so it took me some time to remember what the concept of “all theory is metaphor” that Morgan talks about and also organizational communication in general, is all about. I agree with Morgan in that while metaphor is important and very useful, it sometimes hides other important factors of the situation. It should be interesting to learn more about the use of metaphor in different images of organization. I liked that Morgan outlined all of the chapters in his introduction. Much of what he outlined sounds familiar so it will be interesting to learn about it all on a deeper level since each chapter only has one metaphor in it. I also agree with blogger32 in that it should be much easier and more interesting to learn about one metaphor at a time, rather than multiple metaphors in each chapter. Spending more time on fewer metaphors should be more useful and much more interesting.

Liz E. said...

I think that the use of metaphors to understand organizational theory should prove to be an effective and interesting way to learn in this class. The first chapter discusses how useful using metaphors can be, as long as, you understand that one metaphor is not the answer to all organizational problems. The metaphors in each chapter will open my eyes to different ways of thinking about organizational communication that will help me in my future career. I also found it interesting that at the beginning of the introduction it states that good leaders and managers are not born with these skills, but acquire them through reading different situations and using metaphors to keep an open mind in understanding organizational problems. I found this encouraging and was excited to "dive" into the material in order to have a better understanding of organizational theory that I hope to use in the future.

jen c said...

After reading this Introduction to the text, my nerves are at ease. Like the previous posts, I think it will be easier to appreciate the content of this class by addressing one metaphor at a time. I agree with Morgan's outlook on metaphor as he describes it as "whenever we attempt to understand one element of experience in terms of another...metaphor always creates distortions." I hope that Morgan gives us a new way of looking at organizations and how to read situations that we each will encounter in the near future.

JKD2485 said...

I think that the author of this book makes it very clear that metaphor is the way that we should view organizations and the theories that go along with organizations. I think that this is a great way to look at things. It definitely will help us understand the concepts that aren’t as natural to us, as well as illustrates more clearly the ideas that we already know. I will be interested to see what the author has in store for us in the weeks to come! I think this approach is also a very creative way to write, and I think it will prove to be very helpful and interesting, as blogger32 stated, when it comes to understanding the concepts that we need to know for future application.

Teri said...

After reading through the intorduction chapter for this course, I am much more interested with what we will be discussing this semester. Apparently I had a much different experience with Org. Comm. with Dr. Olivas last semester than many others did, so I don't know how the blogs worked out in 350 in the past. However, we did use them in theories, and I really think that this approach will be much more helpful to understanding the material. As far is the concept of viewing the organization in terms of metaphors, I am very interested to learn more about hwo the organization fits into some of the metaphors that were described in the intro. Can't wait to write more of these! :)

BKM24 said...

Coming into this class I was unsure what to expect after my experience in CST 350 last semester. Now after reading this first chapter I find the different dimensions and levels of viewing an organization as a metaphor intriguing. It isn't as one dimensional as it first appeared. Also, as many posts have already said my mind is at ease with contemplating one metaphor at a time.

courtneyb said...

I thought this intro chapter was a nice way of giving us an overview of whats to come in this class. It was also nice to not have to read 50 pages for the 2nd day of class. Metaphors are a good way of making complex subjects a little easier to wrap your mind around, and that's something nice about the way the author set up this book. It also helps to make a boring subject seem more interesting if you can apply it to something else. Regular org comm was great, and I for one, am hoping for a crayon day soon!!!!

mtn4105 said...

This was a good intro to the book. It is nice to be reading a book for class than the standard text book. It seems that this book will be a good read and the structure of the book is clear from the begining. Like everyone else it is nice that one metaphor is being addressed at one time. It should be an interesting book and an interesting class.

mbb724 said...

I like the idea that effective managers and professionals need to be skilled in the art of ‘reading’ situations. I think it is somewhat similar to the idea of needing to ‘read’ organizations and metaphors that can be applied to them. A skillful professional in ‘reading’ situations realizes that something that was effective in one situation will not be effective in another; similarly, a metaphor that is applicable to one organization may not be for another. The metaphors are useful in understanding organizations, but only with the understanding that they are not steadfast for every organization you look at. I like the introduction to this book, I feel like it takes on a different approach to looking at org. comm.. And I agree with Courtney in hoping for a crayon day.

MelissaF said...

When it was first explained that we would be looking at organizations as metaphors I was kind of worried. After reading this first chapter, however, I find myself getting really excited to use this perspective. I think it is a very interesting way to observe things. I think it will allow for this class to be fun and laid back and not boring. This will allow for a new exciting way to look at theories which can be so repetitive and scary.

cstmajor08 said...

I guess I must be the only one who didn't think the intro was that great! Yes organizations can be seen as a metaphor, a machine, an organism, a culture, etc. I think what will be most beneficial to understanding this course is our own experiences! Granted we'll be learning about things we haven't yet experienced, but who hasn't had a job that dealt with communicating, following rules, compromising opinions, and swallowing pride? For example, Morgan writes, "Chapter 9 explores the idea that organizations are instruments of domination." I feel your pain man.
As a class I am excited to take the text and relate it to experiences and ideas that are our own and create an interactive environment for better learning.

TracyMachtan said...

I didn't quite understand how metaphor could be applied to organizations until I read the introduction. It was very helpful. I appreciated how they gave explicit examples of the metaphors we'll be examining in each chapter this semester.

As I was reading through the different metaphors, I was trying to think back to organizations that I've been in that those metaphors could have been applied to. I've definitely experienced the "organization is a machine," "organization is a culture," and "organization is a brain" metaphors. I'm looking forward to learning more about organizational metaphors and I'm eager to see how they'll play into my future endeavors.

jennad said...

I really liked the fact that the first reading was only a few pages long. I liked Morgan's introduction on the book and how he explained metaphors and how they will be incorporated into the study of organizations. I think this will be an interesting way to look into organizations and puts a different spin on the way that we have been taught in the past. It's been a year since I took org. comm. so I am looking forward to learning more on this subject and to refresh what I have already learned. I have a feeling, like the author stated, that I will come to like some metaphors more than others...I'm interested in finding out which ones I like and which ones I do not. I also like that we will be addressing one metaphor at a time...I think it will be easier to grasp the information better that way.

jsat said...

I think that this intro did a really good job at showing the complexity of metaphors in relation to an organization. I am looking forward to reading this book because it seems to have a lot of application to my future career. I especially find the information in chapter two to be fascinating because increasing speed and finding ways to make humans more machine-like is a popular philsophy especially in corporate America. It will be interesting to have discussions on how managers deal with this theory of organization as well as the other metaphors.

heathstip said...

After reading the introduction for our book, and after today's class discussion - I think that this class is going to be a great extension to CST 350. I'm excited to relate what we learn about communication within organizations to my current and future work experiences. I think learning about these metaphors and the meanings behind them will give us a better understanding of communication not only within organizations, but in day to day life as well.

JGrab said...

This book definitely caught my attention when it spoke of the depth that we would be looking into metaphors. One of the things I liked most about 350 was looking into the imagery and metaphors of organizations, and this class/book seem to be the perfect way to gain a deeper understanding of both. Overall it looks like a great read, and a fun class.

Molly S said...

It seems after reading the introduction of Morgan and the way metaphors are going to be used to explain organizational concepts, this "Adv. Org Comm" class will definitely go deeper into organizational processes than was covered in CST 350. I am all for thinking in terms of metaphors to understand material. To me it seems like a way to relate to topics that may be difficult to understand otherwise. Since we all have a basic understanding of organizational communication from 350, it should be interesting to spend less time learning the concepts and more time understanding them in terms of metaphors.

colep said...

I took CST 350 5 years ago

-Life got in the way a bit.....So today was cool for me in that I was in a room w/students again and I actually remember SOME of the stuff that we talked about in class today.

I am looking forward to the interaction in the classroom and the continuous breakdown of Metaphors/Organizations and where WE come into play today and down the road for tomorrow(s)!

p.s. I am getting the book tomorrow Rick!

amandamc said...

After reading the intro to the book, I became a lot more interested in the material that we will be talking about this semester. I think that looking at communication as a metaphor makes it a lot easier to understand and apply to everyday life. It will be fun to see how we can relate some theories of communication to everyday organizational situations.

AJP said...

As I read the first chapter of the book I started to remember many different theories from cst 350. After talking in class today I am now very eager to learn about the many different metaphors that we can use to discribe organizations. I think I will be really fun to use these metaphors while analysising different organizations communicational structures. I really loved org communication with Olivas...as much as it was incredibly difficult because in the end we applied what we learned in the many projects. I look forward to a more indepth look into organizational theories and metaphors!

Nick said...

I hope that metaphors prove to be an easy way to digest this material. I know that at the very least, metaphors help me as a student in that it's much easier to remember "That one theory that's like..." as opposed to "Taylor's Scientific Management"

I am glad the author acknowledge the limitations of metaphor. Many times I feel like certain metaphors are a stretch and can exclude important aspects of subject of the metaphor.

Anyone else notice that the author's statement "all theory is metaphor" is a metaphor.

"it's like that's Wayne's basement, but that's not Wayne's basement"

lsenz said...

I'm actually really excited that the book is using metaphors to help explain concepts. I have memory issues and I think this will be a very effective way to remember what I've learned. Plus it seems like it will tbe easier to understand. I liked the intro since it was very clear on what to expect from the chapters that will follow.

KimB said...

I think the combination of metaphors and crayons are going to bring Advanced Org Comm to a whole new level! I can honestly say though that I love talking in metaphors, it makes a lot of things really easy to relate to, and textbook information is no different. It is a style of learning not used often enough, so if I ever have another review session of THIS material I think I'll do a bit better.

dano said...

Well now that we have already talked about this chapter i feel way behind, but i couldnt find this damn thing. Anyway, metaphors are always fun. I feel like they help to explain the concepts in the book by making you think about about them in a different way. It is much easier to relate real life things to metaphors than it is to relate them to an actual concept. In regards to being easier than 350 i highly doubt that, i just think they take the material slower because it is much more in depth.

dkieck said...

After our reading and the discussion that we had in class I am excited to look at these metaphors one at a time. I really like using metaphors as a learning tool because it can make you think in so many different ways. It also lets you view a situation or organization like you have never looked at it before. I can't wait for the class discussions that we are going to have and the ideas and metaphors that we will come up with!

finchy said...

I'm definitely the last person to comment on this, apologies Dr. Rodrick, but better late than never right? I have been excited to have a class that facilitates learning in a way that works with my brain, and metaphors are how I make sense of a lot of my world. The opening reading confirmed what I had already suspected from what you had told me this summer that this material would make lots of sense to me. Since this entry is so late it basically obsolete so I will keep this short and understand that I firmly grasped what Morgan was saying in his introduction.