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Exploring Morgan’s Metaphors

Exploring Morgan’s Metaphors
Theory, Research, and Practice in Organizational Studies

Edited by:

Other Titles in:
Organizational Theory

July 2016 | 304 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Gareth Morgan’s monumental book, Images of Organization, revolutionized the field of organization theory. In honor of Morgan’s classic text, this edited volume, Exploring Morgan’s Metaphors: Theory, Research, and Practice in Organizational Studies, illustrates how Morgan’s eight metaphors inform research, practice, and organizational intervention in a variety of contexts. Including contributions from well-known experts in their fields, specifically, Joep Cornelisen, Cliff Oswick, David Grant, Hari Tsoukas,  and Gareth Morgan, this new text offers fresh perspectives and sets forth new metaphors for conceptualizing organizations in today’s workforce. Readers will gain insights and guidelines into the different ways that Morgan’s metaphors and metaphorical thinking can be used to better understand organizational life, as well as how to study and develop organizations.

Gareth Morgan
Linda Putnam, Anders Örtenblad, Kiran Trehan
Chapter 1. Introduction: From Theory to Application of Metaphor in Organizational Analysis
Overview of Morgan’s Images of Organization

Generating Organizational Metaphors in Theory and Practice

Moving From Theory to Application: The Structure of This Book

Gareth Morgan
Chapter 2. Reflections on Images of Organization
On the Genesis of Images of Organization

On the Inspiration for Writing This Book

On Metaphor and How It Works

On the Contributions That Images Makes

On Responses to Critiques of Images

On Developing New Metaphors for Research

On Criteria for Evaluating a Metaphor

On Dominant Metaphors in the Field

On Additional Generative Metaphors

On Metaphors and the Natural Environment

Joep Cornelissen
Chapter 3. Morgan's Legacy in Theorizing and Understanding Organizations
Morgan and Metaphors

How Metaphors Work

Metaphors and Theories of Organization


Anders Örtenblad
Chapter 4. Approaches to Using Metaphors in Organizational Analysis: Morgan’s Metaphors and Beyond
Framework: Seven Distinctions

A Typology of Approaches to Using Metaphors in Organizational Analysis

Which Approach Is Preferable?

The Chapters in Part II of This Book

A Comment on Meta-Metaphors: Understanding How We Approach Metaphors

Vikas Rai Bhatnagar
Chapter 5. Viewing Organizations as Enablers of Happiness
Dynamic Modeling of Morgan's Metaphors

Gaps in Basic Assumptions of Current Metaphors: Toward Enriching Them

Perceived Negative Aspects of Humans

Conceptualization of Human Beings and Their Purpose

New Metaphor of Organizations as Enablers of Happiness

Thomas Süße, Bernd-Friedrich Voigt, Uta Wilkens
Chapter 6. Combining Metaphors to Understand New Organizational Phenomena
IPSS as the Case of Application

Metaphors as Frames of Understanding Organizational Phenomena

Domains-Interaction Model for Metaphor Development

Specifiying Characteristics of Organizing in IPSS

Applying Morgan's Images to the Set of IPSS Variables


Turo Virtanen
Chapter 7. Exploring Metaphors of Leadership
Need for Quantitative Analysis

What Are Metaphors?

The Formulation of Leadership Metaphors and Data Generation

Overview of the Distribution of Metaphors

The Latent Meaning Structures of Leadership Culture

Results Compared With Previous Research


Ron Kerr, Sarah K. Robinson, Carole Elliott
Chapter 8. Developing Metaphors in Light of the Visual and Digital Turns in Organization Studies: Toward a Methodological Framework
The Visual and Digital Turns in Organization Studies

The Case: Mondelez International

Discussion: Evolving a New Image Through Our Digital Methodology

Conclusions: Contributions of This Paper and Ways Forward for Organization Studies

Vitor Hugo Klein, Jr., Christian Huber
Chapter 9. Imagination and the Political Use of Images
Assumptions About Images and Imagination

From Images of Toward Imagination in Organization

Discussion and Conclusion

David Grant, Cliff Oswick
Chapter 10. Organization as Affect: Moving on Metaphorically
Revisiting the Metaphor and Organization Journey

A New Challenge

Organization as Affect


Haridimos Tsoukas
Chapter 11. The "Metaphor" Metaphor: Educating Practitioners for Reflective Judgment
Reflective Thinking



Organizations as Texts

Refined Understanding

Peter Case, Hugo Gaggiotti, Jonathan Gosling, Mikael Holmgren Caicedo
Chapter 12. Of Tropes, Totems, and Taboos: Reflections on Morgan's Images From a Cross-Cultural Perspective
Understanding Tropes, Totems, and Taboos

Totems, Images, and Replicas in International Encounters



Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 3

Chapter 8

Anders Örtenblad

Anders Örtenblad is Professor of Organization and Leadership at the faculty of social sciences, Nord University, Norway. His main research interests are fashionable management ideas and their travel in space and time; organizational learning and the learning organization; management education, and the use of metaphors for and in the study of organizations and education. He has published articles in journals such as Human Relations, Management Learning, and International Journal of Management Reviews, and edited books published by Edward Elgar Publishing, Routledge and Sage.   More About Author

Kiran Trehan

Kiran Trehan is Professor of Leadership and Enterprise Development at Birmingham University. She has published a number of journal articles, policy reports, books and book chapters in the field. Her work has been supported by grants from research councils, government departments, regional and local agencies, and the private sector. She has been a Guest Editor for multiple journals and serves in national advisory roles that shape debates and policy in leadership, diversity, and enterprise development. More About Author

Linda L. Putnam

Linda L. Putnam is a Research Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her current research interests include discourse analysis in organizations, negotiation and organizational conflict, and gender.  She is the co-editor of twelve books, including The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Communication (2014), Building Theories of Organization: The Constitutive Role of Communication (2009) and the author/co-author of over 180 journal articles and book chapters. She is a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association, a Fellow of the International Communication Association... More About Author

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