Climbing the Corporate Ladder: Using the Ladder as an Organizational Metaphor

  • Debra J. DeanEmail author
Part of the Christian Faith Perspectives in Leadership and Business book series (CFPLB)


For decades, the metaphor of climbing a corporate ladder was used to infer starting one’s career at the bottom and taking steps toward the top. The climb was expected to be progressive, challenging, and rewarding. The anticipation was that once at the top, the employee would have reached his or her summit where they could be proud of their accomplishments, including status, money, and title. The climb was different for different people, as some moved up the rungs faster than others and some even skipped a rung or two at a time. Over time, though, this metaphor may have taken on new meaning to different generations and different genders. This chapter will examine the role of the corporate ladder throughout recent generations, as well as the ascent for men versus women. This chapter will also compare the corporate ladder to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. And, this chapter will evaluate scripture with regard to climbing the ladder in pursuit of selfish aggrandizement as opposed to obedience to God in pursuit of eternity.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Regent UniversityVirginia BeachUSA

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