Symbols and quantitative FUN‐damentals

Patricia Karathanos (Department of Administrative Services, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO, USA)
Diane Pettypool (Department of Management, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO, USA)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 1 April 1998


Organizations develop cultural artifacts to create and sustain organizational meaning. Symbolism creates organizational reality such that assumptions become taken‐for‐granted. This paper examines the way in which symbols function to create meaning. For example, metaphor actually causes one to focus on certain aspects of concepts to the exclusion of others. We propose that the creative symbolism used in organizations can be transferred to the classroom to foster shared meaning as conceptual building blocks for further learning. Several examples of how symbolism may be used to strengthen teaching and learning in “quantitative” courses are provided.



Karathanos, P. and Pettypool, D. (1998), "Symbols and quantitative FUN‐damentals", Management Decision, Vol. 36 No. 3, pp. 171-174.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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