Discussion: The Mindset of Mechanistic Organizations


Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times is a humorous but thought-provoking visualization of the machine metaphor in practice. As the United States transitioned from the agricultural era to the industrial era, management thinking changed as well. In the field, everyone worked together according to natural cycles. In factories, the work was designed for efficiency and the manager needed predictable processes to control the work of employees. Jobs were mechanized and designed so workers had to do little thinking, and the managers “controlled” the workers’ actions. For this Discussion, you examine the mindset of mechanistic organizations.


For this Discussion, review this week’s resources, including the media provided. Consider the evolution of management theory and practice since its inception. (Note: You may need to do some research on this in the Walden Library.)


Post by Day 3 your response to the following:


Explain your thoughts on how the mechanistic organization mindset became so ingrained in the business world. Next, explain what in the evolution of management theory and practice has raised the need for change. Then, explain the strengths and limitations of the machine metaphor. Finally, explain an alternative structure of a mechanistic organization.


Note: Provide citations in APA format from at least two of this week’s resources.


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?


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