This major work from renowned scholars in the field analyzes the role of language and symbolic media and show how this enables us to move to new levels of understanding of contemporary organizational issues. Chapters examine the role and growing importance of discourse in the study of organizations; the relationship between discourse, action, and interaction and their impact on organizational structure and behavior; the analytical potential of the “store” as a means of illuminating the ways in which organizational members make sense of their experience of organization; the fundamental significance of linguistic usage and discursive construction to the ontologies of “organization.” Finally, a concluding discourse explores the claims and limitations of organizational discourse as a means of enriching our understanding of organization.
Chapter 10: Metaphor, Language and Meaning
Metaphor, Language and Meaning
In this chapter we critically assess some of the principal claims that have been made about metaphor in organizational analysis. We then present our own assessment of the value of metaphor in the study of organizations. Throughout the chapter, we are operating with a definition of metaphor given by Cuddon. To him, metaphor is ‘A figure of speech in which one thing is described in terms of another’ (1991: 542).
Claims about the Value of Metaphor in Organizational Analysis
We feel that claims about the value of metaphor in organizational analysis can be divided into three broad types: those concerning its role in the structuration of organization theory; those concerning metaphor and the discursive texture of organizations; and ...