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Corporate Communication- Nature’s Organismic Metaphor

employee on job and business man
Written by Medhaavi Mishra

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**Do you know our mother nature has spent millennia of years to brush-up the communication system of the environment where we are able to survive with pure air to breathe and clean water bodies to do our necessities.

Even a mother starts her journey by giving a home to an organism that gets enriched in mother’s womb for around nine months. After the birth of her child she cares with sleepless nights. She feeds her milk and help her child to stand on his own feet to explore his journey of life.

organismic cells
Organism division

A cell also starts its journey give birth to another cell to continue the chain of cells to perform their function so as to survive or to get adapt in the environment. But during their survival process threats also occurs which disturbs the functional communication of the cells but being in group they are always ready to deal with the difficult times. But sometimes due to some limitations they couldn’t protect their shield of survival and they dies.

Similarly, an organisation can be well said as nature’s organismic metaphor that starts and nurtures its people, adapts the corporate and competitive environment for its survival, always geared up to face the threats that occurs in the environment etc. But some organisations could not match the parameters of survivals and they are out of the business. Therefore, from an organism to an organisation there should be proper communication that runs flexibly to survive. A little miscommunication in the system can lead to a major threats to that system.

Organizational communication is the process through which individuals stimulate meaning in the minds of other individuals through verbal or nonverbal conversation in the context of a formal organization.


The word “stimulate” meaning are designed to suggest that it is through communication with others that we develop, generate/ cultivate/ shape/ and reshape of ideas. It is strange that we have a tendency to develop an idea entirely on our own. Many of our ideas are formed or created by meanings that others have stimulated.

Responding to the external environment requires a “stimulus response that is inherent in the organism metaphor. The open system ideology not only views the organization as a component of a bigger system, but also as constitute of integrated subsystems within the organization. These systems mutually depend on each other and ideally assist each other to uphold several fundamental processes.

In order for any organism to survive, it needs to understand its needs and vulnerabilities. This is also the case for an organization.

man shouting on call

Indeed, the growth and sustainability of any organization will not only enable it to survive in the highly competitive setting, but it will also enable it to be flexible enough to respond swiftly to the variations that take place as a result of variations in the environment.

Flexibility and variations in a company occur through redesign. Alvesson explains the redesigning as varying the fundamental make-up and procedure of an organization.

The earlier metaphors of organization (as machines) failed to attach any importance to the role the environment plays in the survival of an organization. The theories hence viewed organizations as closed systems that might be created as clearly defined structures of components.

On the opposite hand, the concept planned by the organism metaphor put emphasis on the environment in which organizations function and as a result organizations have to be compelled to take into consideration their environments so as to survive.

The organism metaphor puts stress on the organizational survival because of the major objective of any organization. This is contrary to the main focus of the earlier theories on the attainment of specific operational objectives. Survival could be a procedure that results into the attainment of objectives and targets.

team work

Organisms are species that exist in a natural world with material characteristics that influence the survival and well being of its members. This natural world can be seen, felt and touched. Nature is objective and real in each method. Nevertheless, this image is not realistic when applied to an organization because organizations and their environments are mainly socially construed phenomena.


The organization as organism metaphor views organizations as entities that depend on the interdependence of its members for its survival. To a great extent, this metaphor is helpful in analyzing the functioning and survival of organizations particularly in reference to its external environment.

*What are your views related to organismic metaphor for a corporate communication ?
**What are the other metaphor’s that are used for an Organisational Communication ?

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About the author

Medhaavi Mishra