Sample Paper on Case Study Analysis: Metaphor in Organizations

Case Study Analysis: Metaphor in Organizations

This case study analysis revolves around two articles; ‘Metaphor: A multifaceted Literacy Device used by Morgan and Weick to describe Organizations’ by Robert Van Engen and ‘Metaphor and Theory Building in Organization Theory What determines the Impact of a Metaphor on theory?’ by Joep and Mario.  These two articles much extensive discussion on the significance of metaphor in maintaining a high level of formidable management of various organizations. The first article perceives the notion of the use of metaphor in organizations as a multifaceted approach to understanding an organization and the best way possible that it could be enhanced.  In this prospect, it gives an incisive look at the various perspectives of the organization such as the complexity, the validity, the development of creativity and the clarity in the understanding of various tenets of the company (Cornelissen, & Kafouros, 2008).

On the other hand, the second article gives an incisive look at the different issues that affects the impact of the metaphor in the theory of practice in every organization.  It also goes ahead to accentuate the fact that our capability to theorize and make out about the group is predominantly affected by the metaphorical representation of the whole organizational context. In this prospect, it should be noted that the piece of work is very practical about the direct influence of these facets of the growth and development of the complete contextual knowledge of these aspects (Cornelissen, & Kafouros, 2008).  The metaphor is responsible for making sure that the organizational culture is quite well natured and brought to existence and maintenance for a very long time.  For many organizations, the framework presented in each of the facets gives it the real significance that it deserves.

Jeep and Mario in their case study found out that the ability of metaphorical representation in an organization to advance clarity on understanding the whole context is dependent upon two distinct factors. One of those factors is the propensity to which the metaphor itself is seen to capture the full context of capturing the important features in the organization.  In this prospect, should be noted that the metaphor such as perceiving the firm as an organism as postulated by Morgan must be clearly understood (Van Engen, 2008).  For example, when Morgan postulated that an organization is like an organism, it gave a picture of birth, maturity, and death.

In the analysis of the firm connoted in the case study, the main problem with the enterprise was that the long-term goals of the company were not in line with real dynamics of the future.  As the organization approaches the maturity status, it is faced with both the advantages and disadvantages of diseconomies and economies of scale.  The transcending effect of this notion is that the clarity as brought out by the metaphor is deemed to help in making sure that the company regains back to its standards since it will be well aware of the pros and cons of the whole system of the organization.  Additionally, the organizational culture is well brought out by the metaphor, and this reduces the high levels of ambiguity that is set off in this stance (Van Engen, 2008).

The case study done by two types of organization that is,  as small (family) and an involved (Microsoft) group,  shows that the metaphorical representation of various tenets of these firms gives a high sense of coordination in the same.  The importance of imagery links the people to the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual dimensions of existence and active work that would be deemed quite advantageous in the enhancing productivity.  The cohesiveness will only be adhered to when the whole cultural development of an organization is backed by a profound metaphorical ground which is deemed to be quite substantial in nature (Cornelissen, & Kafouros, 2008). This notion is because; the metaphor creates the whole picture of execution and the beauty of working in a firm. Imagery adds color to these profound elements and builds up the memories, the relationships and the stories that are deemed to advance the organizational norm and beliefs. If this prospect is maintained and well balanced, the significant gain would be that it would create the advent of quality leaders of followers in the firm. The cohesiveness and the passing of the real culture from one generation to the next will be dependent on the actual significance that the management perceives the firm metaphorically (Van Engen, 2008).

In this analysis, it has come out clearly that the use of metaphor is vital for organizational development. The areas that businesses need to utilize this virtue are at the point of building a sustainable culture of the enterprise. Additionally, the firm should be keen on creating healthy relationships and giving a wider picture of the inclusion of every stakeholder of the firm by the use of a metaphor.  In summary, the use of metaphor in a company does not only help in the sustenance of the real culture of the firm but also making clear the objectives of the business and a cohesive relationship in the long end


Cornelissen, J. P., & Kafouros, M. (2008). Metaphors and Theory Building in Organization Theory: What Determines the Impact of a Metaphor on Theory?*. British Journal of Management, 19(4), 365-379.

Van Engen, R. B. (2008). Metaphor: a multifaceted literary device used by Morgan and Weick to describe organizations. Emerging Leadership Journeys, 1(1), 39-51.