The purpose of this paper is to describe how a phenomenological approach can help to understand embodied dimensions and compare different and shared qualities, functions and potential, as well as ambivalences and limitations of metaphors and stories in organisations.
Based on a phenomenological understanding and use of multiple discourses, the specific expressive and communicative nature, linkages to meaning, mediation and integration, as well as transformational, innovating and generating potentials of metaphors respectively, narratives are analysed conceptually and discussed. Accordingly similarities and differences, overlapping and conflicting patterns, thus correspondences and rapprochements of both metaphors and narratives are shown and illustrated.
The critical comparison of various, especially transformative functions, ambivalences and ambiguous uses of metaphorical and narrative sides and practices reveals their inherently dynamic inter‐relational nexus. The analysis shows how metaphors and stories/narratives can serve each other, as well as how they work together and contribute for transformation in organizations. In turn, this also offers new potential for understanding the practical opportunities and obstacles to the management of change.
The originality of this paper lies in that besides using multiple discourse, it follows an advanced Merleau‐Pontyian phenomenological approach and thus considers embodied dimensions of metaphors and stories/narratives and its implication for organizations critically. Working out the intriguing relationship between metaphor and narrative offers significant new insight and avenues for the research of organizational inertia and change.
Küpers, W. (2013), "Embodied transformative metaphors and narratives in organisational life‐worlds of change", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 494-528. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534811311328551Download as .RIS
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