Traditional managers have insisted on a highly structured way of institutionalizing the mechanistic, functionalized, physical management of people and artifacts. This focus on structure creates a tension between the need for rigid command on the one hand and that for flexible response to threats on the other. The modern worker is thereby confronted with a bewildering multiplicity of partial identities, contradictory viewpoints and corporate strategies that pull in different directions. Wood suggests a contrasting approach, the cyborg self, a hybrid composition of organism and machine that celebrates the very tension that the structural approach abhors. The cyborg gives primacy to relationships as things in their own right ahead of individual terms and expressions. Thus, the cyborg stands in opposition to a focus on structure and is perhaps an introduction to the organization’s postmodern focus on interactions and processes.
Martin Wood is a research fellow at the Centre for Creativity, Strategy and Change, Warwick University, UK. He has a BA Hons (CNAA) and MA (Lancaster). He was formerly employed in tertiary teaching and self-employed in organization consultancy. He has recent involvement with service delivery and clinical change research in the NHS, including the contribution of researchers to the change process. His research interests are in poststructuralism in relation to organization studies and theories of knowledge production and application.