MGMT 8005M:Week 2: The Structural Frame Essay Assignment Paper

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MGMT 8005M:Week 2: The Structural Frame Essay Assignment Paper

MGMT 8005M: Organizational Perspectives and Implications for Leaders | Week 2

Pushing within the old boundaries will not do.

– Karl Weick (Iyar, 2007, p. 21.)

Bolman and Deal’s (2017) structural frame focuses on the structure of an organization. There is a well-known saying among architects that “form follows function.” In other words, a building should be designed for its purpose or intention. However, function can sometimes follow form. A structure of an organization can influence the behavior and the work of those within simply by the form it takes. Unfortunately, some leaders and managers do not realize this and put structures, policies, and procedures in place that provide barriers that stand in the way of goals and ultimately prevent the organization from effectively fulfilling its mission. Workers must expend energy on working around the barriers that the structure creates rather than being able to focus on achieving results within an optimal setting.

Langenberg and Wesseling (2016) analyze Weick’s statement that “organizations cannot be imagined as an architectural design, static, and prescriptive, but should be described as a jazz improvisation, a flexible mental model.” The authors list a comparison between an architecture and improvisation perspective (see Table 1 on page 224). The table creates a metaphor of structure using architectural design and jazz improvisation. This table will be helpful as you work through structure and restructuring using the frames, sensemaking, and metaphors.

This week, you begin to look at one of the oldest organizational structures—the mechanistic organization. Exploring this model helps you understand the strengths and weaknesses of the “machine metaphor.”

Learning Objectives

This week, you will:

  • Analyze mechanistic organizations
  • Analyze strengths and limitations of the machine metaphor
  • Identify alternative to mechanistic organizations
  • Analyze organizational structure using metaphors and the frame model
  • Evaluate structures of organizations


You will develop the following skills:

  • Analyze the structure of organizations
  • Apply theoretical conepts to practical cases


Note: To access this week’s library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.


Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2017). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership (6th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  • Chapter 3, “Getting Organized” (pp. 45-70)
  • Chapter 4, “Structure and Restructuring” (pp. 71-92)
  • Chapter 5, “Organizing Groups and Team” (pp. 93-114)

Langenberg, S. & Wesseling, H. (2016). Making sense of Weick’s organising: A philosophical exploration. Philosophy of Management, 15, 221-224. Retrieved from

Walden University Online Writing Center. (2013). APA style: Overview. Retrieved from


Laureate Education (Producer). (2014c). The four frames & organizations [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.


MGMT 8005M:Week 2: The Structural Frame Essay Assignment Paper


Two influential philosophers of the 17th century who paved the way for scientific thinking were Descartes and Newton. Descartes’ philosophical beliefs were built upon by Newton’s work, which dealt with the prevailing mechanical philosophy of his day (Janiak, 2008). Since the 17th century, our worldview evolved from Aristotle’s natural philosophy to one that could be explained in the same way we understand the workings of a machine (Janiak, 2008). By the end of the 20th century, mechanistic thinking and scientific thinking merged together particularly, in western civilization and influenced how we began to structure organizations.


Let’s put the mechanistic thinking into practice. Think of a pocket watch. What are all of the things you know about it? Some observations might be that the parts all mesh together; when one part breaks down, the entire watch stops; it can wear out; it is predictable until it fails. Now compare the watch to a living tree. The tree has roots; if one part of the tree dies, another can regenerate itself; even if the entire tree dies it transforms itself into soil. A tree does not die when every part is destroyed, but it transforms itself into another form.

To prepare for this week’s Discussion, review this week’s recommended Learning Resources and think about the metaphor of the tree and the pocket watch.

Day 3: Initial Post

Post by Day 3 an explanation of the following:

  • How did the mechanistic organization mindset become so ingrained in the business world?
  • What in the evolution of management theory and practice caused the need for change?
  • The strengths and limitations of the machine metaphor
  • One alternative structure that can replace the mechanistic organization and how it can give an organization an advantage

Day 5: Response

Respond by Day 5 to at least two of your colleagues’ postings. In your responses, be sure to address one of the following:

  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.
  • What insights did you gain from your colleague’s posting?
  • Offer an alternative suggestion.
  • If you reside outside of the United States, how might this information apply?

Note: Include proper APA citations to support all statements by referencing at least two sources from this week’s recommended readings as well as two additional sources from relevant peer-reviewed publications.

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