Tuesday, December 11, 2007

mixing business with pleasure

As anyone who has visited my blog in recent times may have noticed, I have this little "thing" for the amazing BBC miniseries North and South. (um, also just a tiny "thing" for star of aforementioned series, Mr. Richard Armitage...ahem). So I was only a little surprised when I found myself working the movie into a final reflection paper I had to write for one of my MBA classes. The subject? Organizational Structure and Behavior. Basically, we learned a bunch of metaphors which help one describe an organization. And I used some of them to evaluate what I saw in North and South. Hey, who says you can't mix schoolwork with fun?

...In many ways, I feel as though that since I’ve had these metaphors pointed out to me, they are head-smackingly obvious. I see them everywhere now. For example, last week I was watching a BBC miniseries called North and South which is set in the British industrial revolution. As I enjoyed the film and reacted to the characters and plot, my thought processes of evaluating it included bits and pieces of the metaphors. I could see the cotton mills with their endless rows of looms and factory drudgery work – Organization as a Machine. Then there were the inevitable clashes between the fledgling unions and the factory bosses – Organization as a Political System. We see workers suffering from lung disease developed by the cotton fluff in the factory air – Organization as Instruments of Domination. The film also allowed the audience to see some of the complexity that went into the management of the factory as the boss tried to decide whether or not to risk the future of his organization on a speculative financial investment or hope that the downward trend of the market would reverse itself. His decision had ramifications for the continued existence of the company – Organization as Organism. Although we don’t think of industrial era bosses as particularly enlightened or values-led, this particular owner had his own sense of justice and fairness. You could obviously see how his internal moral values had a direct impact on his leadership style and on the entire company – Organization as Culture. These are just the metaphors that came to mind easily. I’m quite sure that one could find parallels to all of them. ...



I dashed off the final paragraph and emailed the finished paper to my professor before I could lose my nerve. So what say you? Crazy or what? lol. Anyways, after that horrid Accounting exam which I finished tonight, my finals are done. I'm celebrating with an extra large bottle of Corona. I only wish I didn't have to work tomorrow or one bottle might be two.

5 comments:

Kristie (J) said...

WEll, there's always Friday night *g*. And I think it's a hoot that you used North and South in your Organizational Structure and Behavior course!! And who says we watch television just for the handsome stars!

lisabea said...

You know that your professor will be thrilled to read something that isn't quoting Who Moved My Cheese or The 1 Minute Manager or The Art of War for Business...(my bookshelves are filled with my husband's uplifting literature). Blech.

If you included photos of RA, how much better would that have been????

Katie(babs) said...

Those Richard pictures have made my day!
I feel like I am 13 all over again when I use to tape pictures up on my bedroom wall from the teen magazines and gaze at all the boys.
Sigh... Richard has become my grown up crush. :)

Dev said...

I'm crushing hard on RA these days. I'm on my 3rd time of watching N&S in less than a week. Is it bad that when I looked at the pictures I knew the exact scenes from the movie that they came from??

sula said...

kristie, I think that I have a holiday party on friday, but it's of the family-friendly variety more's the pity. Mebbe when I get home and get on AIM, I will hunt down a beer. *g*

lisabea, one thing I am happy about so far with this MBA program is no stupid pop business books (yet). I read all of those in undergrad. North and South...way more interesting and enlightening.

katiebabs and dev, I am right with you on the crushing. He's soooo...just...ok, words really fail me. Entrancing? It ought to be a crime for a man to be so all-around damned attractive. lol.