Living organisms change their adaptations regularly in order to survive ever changing environmental conditions. Those that are unable to cope with new changes in their habitats perish and a good example is the case of the famous dinosaur. Similarly, the organizational environment keeps on changing and every organization has to be well equipped, flexible and competitive enough to survive changes in its environment. Therefore, it is worth noting that organizations can also be explained as organisms- living organisms, when it comes to surviving in a changing environment. In order to bring into light how organizations operate as living organisms, this essay concentrates on a military unit and orchestra as examples of different kinds of living systems.
A military unit is a subdivision of a larger military organization that has a prescribed size and specific role. During the ancient classical days, famous military units included the Greek’s Phalanx and the Legion of the Romans. In modern armies military units were farther dividend with professionalism and common units include battalion, brigade and company among others. Since the ancient days military units, like other organization that are dominated by men, have been experiencing several challenges due to change in military and war environments over time. One of the major problems faced in military units is poor administration of officers from different genders (Millett, 1999).
History shows that women have been participating in military since the 19th century as nurses and later as military officers. Currently women play a big role as military officers in different countries. Statistics show that by 2010 women constituted about 14% of the US military force. Since military job has been perceived as men occupation, there have been no proper administration catering for women officers and this has been a major cause of decline of military prowess in many countries. Another challenge is lack of enough financing to cater for military training, modern weapons and remuneration of officers. Some countries do not have enough funds to finance their military needs due to economic crisis or increase in military costs. This makes it difficult for such countries to maintain security for their citizens during the times of war. It should be noted that military environment is changing every day and new sophisticated weapons are being developed. War technology has changed and modern armies are using powerful weapon such as biological weapons among others (Millett, 1999).
This is a challenge to army units, especially those from developing countries since they do not have access to modern military weapons and training to march their enemies. Ancient wars normally took place on the ground but in modern days armies have advance and computerized weapons are being used where physical presence of military officers is not required on the battle ground. During the ancient days, one needed to be only physically fit to be recruited in the military but in modern days physical fitness is no longer the only factor since one needs to be learned too in order to fit in modern technological era where almost everything relies on science and information technology. Military demands have also increased with many countries experiencing crisis either with other countries or domestically that require military intervention (Horowitz, 2010).
In order to survive environmental changes in military forces, several transformation in military forces have been witnessed globally in the recent past. Military units have changed their administrations and further subdivisions have been included in modern armies to ensure efficient administration. Modern armies have recognized needs of female military officers and laws to protect their rights have been established in accordance to constitutions of different countries. US government has even established a military unit purely for women officers to ensure good administration in its military forces. Countries have increased military financing in their budgets to ensure that their forces are well equipped to protect their national military interests. Modern military officers are professional with education from recognized universities and this is great move to ensure that military officers are well informed in terms modern technology. Developing countries are including military from developed countries in their local forces in order to improve training and used of modern. Military officers have been increased tremendously in order to ensure that new units have enough officers (Horowitz, 2010).
Orchestra can be defined as a large group of musicians playing classical music, consisting of sections of string, wood, wind, brass, and percussion players, and directed by a conductor. Symphony is the title given to the work of an orchestra which is normally composed in four movements with whereby one these forms are in sonata form. Like the military organization, orchestra also experience system problems that arise due to changes in music environment. One of the major changes is taste changes among music lovers. Majority of music lovers are youngsters and most of them prefer modern songs to classical music developed by orchestras. Another major system problem faced by the orchestra is poor management of both the artists and the orchestra halls. This has led to fall of major orchestra groups in the US. Introduction of modern technology in music industry has made majority of the music lovers to no longer listen to melodious works of orchestra that rely on strings and pipes.
Orchestra artist are no longer taking it as a profession but as a part time occupation and this has led to decline in the industry. The number of orchestra artist has declined in the recent past due to lack of a formal way of training new artist. Orchestras have also been experiencing financial challenges due to lack of enough funds to cater for their music expenses and those arising from their personal lives. Worst of all, demise of classical is common experience in modern days and this has been a major threat to developed and growth of this form of art. Competition from inside and outside the industry, decline in general education standards, elimination of music education, market saturation and changes in the broadcast and recording industries is also a major system problem facing the industry ( Eaton, 2001).
In order to overcome such environment changes in orchestra, artists of this form of art are now including modern instruments in their performances in order to remain competitive. Classical education is currently taught in many modern schools and students can now learn how to play instruments that are used by orchestras. This has increase love of symphony among the modern generations (Dwight, 2007). Orchestra groups are currently obtaining grants from government institution concerned with preservation of culture in order to overcome financial challenges. Unlike in the ancient days, when this form of art was a part time occupation, modern orchestra artist are operating on full time basis to ensure that quality performance to their fans. Modern orchestras are using modern management principles to ensure effective administration of artist during their performances (Dwight, 2007).
Considering the case of the military unit and the orchestra, it is clear that both systems function as living systems. The environment under which the two operate keep on changing over time and the two systems have been changing in order to overcome environmental changes just like the living things do. Systems approach to these two organizations show that different organizations are subjected to different environmental changes and therefore they develop different adaptation measures. From this study, it is clear that other than organizations operating as machines, they too behave like living organizations when it comes to coping with environment changes.