From Dysfunction to Function: An Expansion of the Organizational Metaphor

  • Robert B. HuizingaEmail author
  • Lawrence JonesII
Part of the Christian Faith Perspectives in Leadership and Business book series (CFPLB)


From the days of Aristotle, the use of metaphor to describe our world has attracted more interest than any other traditionally recognized figures of speech. It is seen in Aristotle’s writings, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Western European cave paintings, Christian scriptures, and even in the stock market’s use of raging bulls and angry bears. Metaphors are easily understood, are powerful, and add texture and beauty to dialogue. By comparing two things that appear dissimilar, metaphors evoke a comprehension of an event or situation. As theories of organization are based upon metaphors, the expansion of both our understanding of metaphor and the limitation of metaphors is helpful in understanding organizational trust, organizational performance, and even organizational longevity. It is worth noting that using metaphors can lead to an oversimplification of phenomena, subjectivity, and even a distortion of the organizational view. However, if properly used, metaphors help us in interpreting organizational behaviors to solve organizational issues but also with their potential biases identified will facilitate an insightful discourse.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Regent UniversityVirginia BeachUSA

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