We’re always looking for promising students to delve into the depth of organization theory and practice. Here’s the latest call for a master thesis:
The use of metaphors has a long-standing tradition in organization theory and practice (Cornelissen and Kafouros, 2008). In general, it borrows the terminology of a source domain (e.g., biology) to describe the target domain of organizational characteristics and functions (Tsoukas, 1991). The most prominent metaphors thus use brains, machines, or organisms to illustrate organizations in novel ways (Morgan, 1980). Other well-established metaphors such as organizational knowledge, learning, and memory are anthropomorphic in nature, borrowing largely from the physiology and psychology of individuals.
If organization are capable of learning, remembering, and forgetting, then they may as well burn out in a way individuals do from the pressure of work (Tracy, 2000). The thesis carefully develops a metaphorical framework of organizational burn-out, which must include the symptoms with which the pathology in question may be diagnosed. A qualitative empirical investigation (e.g., interviews or survey questions) serves to illustrate the framework and yields implications for organization theory and remedial recommendations for organizational practice.
- Cornelissen, J. P. and Kafouros, M. (2008). The Emergent Organization: Primary and Complex Metaphors in Theorizing About Organizations. Organization Studies, 29(7):957–978.
- Morgan, G. (1980). Paradigms, Metaphors, and Puzzle Solving in Organization Theory. Administrative Science Quarterly, 25(4):605–622.
- Tracy, S. J. (2000). Becoming a Character for Commerce: Emotion Labor, Self-Subordination, and Discursive Construction of Identity in a Total Institution. Management Communication Quarterly, 14(1):90-128.
- Tsoukas, H. (1991). The Missing Link: A Transformational View of Metaphors in Organization Science. Academy of Management Review, 16(3):566–585.