Metaphorical Analysis Of Selected Project Management Narratives Sample

Impact of Organizational Metaphors on Leadership, Behavior, and Decision-Making in Project Management Narratives

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Introduction Of The Metaphorical Analysis Of Selected Project Management Narratives

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The paper will discuss the importance of Morgan's theory and the generation of organizational images. There has been a discussion that will be made on various Metaphors and sub-metaphor factors. The discussion has been made on how machine metaphor has encompassed the various theories of scientific management. An in-depth analysis has been made of the organization's open system that generally focuses on the various contingencies theories and human relations. It has been observed that the metaphors of the brain will focus on the cognitive development of people, including learning cybernetics and theories. The culture metaphor does represent the equation of shared meaning among the people. It has also been observed that the political Metaphor represents the stakeholders' theories. Discussions are being made on the psychoanalytic that say that metaphors of the psychic person are drawn from various psychoanalytic theories. The flux and the transformation metaphor emphasize the organization's complexity and chaotic situations. The instrument of domination is based on the unequal distribution of power performed in the organizations.

Overview of organization metaphor

Machine as metaphor

When an organization is considered a machine, it is automatically believed that improved efficiency and maximum use of labor are priorities. Using this analogy, it may be said that organizations operate similarly to machines. They are made up of rigid structures that prevent them from quickly adapting and making changes to any change. Managers that use this thinking style aim for effectiveness, accuracy, predictability, and dependability. All of these characteristics describe a mechanistic system. supports the bureaucracy of the organization since each division has a specific purpose that contributes to the overall system's operation. Scholl and Schmelzer, (2022) assert that bureaucracy-based organizations rely on task division, top-down control, and intricate rules and regulations.

A mechanistic model of an organization depends on the concentration of power. It is believed that for this organization to function effectively, authoritarian leadership is both unique and required. In mechanistic organizations, hierarchical positions are frequently formed as a result of centralized authority. Chief executive officers (CEOs) often make decisions at the top of the hierarchy, which is subsequently conveyed to workers and producers at the bottom (Tohidian and Rahimian, 2019). The homogeneity and replacement capability of lower-ranking roles are also a result of the top-down authority model that is ingrained in mechanistic organizations. Compared to the labor-intensive and manufacturing occupations that make up the majority of a business, CEOs and other decision-making positions are frequently tougher to fill and less easily available.

Organism metaphor in organizations

To live and develop, organizations are thought of as exposed schemes that mimic living beings and depend on "adaptation, flexibility, and the significance of the environment in which the organization exists." This perspective compares abruptly with the mechanism metaphor, which sees organizations as motionless machineries incapable of rising, flourishing, or even dying. When an organization is thought of as a living organism, the concept that it has a set structure made up of connected subsystems that work together harmoniously is implied (Peattie, 2020). According to this interpretation of the contingency theory, companies should look for and attempt to correct any misalignments and dysfunctions as they operate as open systems.

The creature has many similar traits, but one crucial distinction is that it evolves in response to its environment. An HR department within a company would be a prime illustration of an organism metaphor. For a company, the HR department must specify the pay scale, benefits, and recruiting and firing procedures (Nardon and Hari, 2021). The business's internal and external environments have a direct influence on the variables. The external influences include things like wage trends and the availability of skilled personnel in the job market. The need for personnel and the total budget based on profit or loss would be considered internal issues.

Brain metaphor in organizations

Organizations require constant learning and the strategy for learning in today's environment of unheard-of extraordinary-speed knowledge, growth, and changes. The brain metaphor might be used to assess the importance of this problem. An association is seen as a multilayered, holographic element that syndicates federal and dispersed traits, multifaceted knowledge schemes, and evidence-handling models from the standpoint of organizations as brain metaphors.

The formation of an injection for the “Covid-19 epidemic” is an illustration of a group acting as a brain. The squads of medicinal investigators have a plethora of unidentified side effects and indications of the vaccine in expansion as well as the development of the illness in the real domain (Eriksson, 2020). However, they can absorb from this as well as the indications and management of patients and the experience of specialists and medical professionals because of the comparative steadiness of the accurateness of all their outcomes over phase and the communal knowledge from all the diverse judgments and trainings presently going on.

The difficulty most companies confront is how to employ the metaphor of an organization as a brain rather than continue to operate in a single loop, repeating the same procedures and finding the same solutions to issues because they know they work or because that is how they have always been done. To fulfill its objectives, the company must overcome centralized management, transition to a diffused power structure, and make the most of each member's talents.

Cultural metaphor in organizations

An administration's philosophy is seen as a dynamic procedure that necessitates deliberate labors to create meaning, exchange ideas, develop understanding, and improve communication. Authenticity is formed and altered by cultural metaphors. When people collaborate on task solutions, organizational cultures are created. In reality, administrative values and social representations, which are particular to each company, are informally and enthusiastically changed and shaped via replacing values and involvements grounded on what is cultured in various conditions, reassuring further deviations and innovation.

Organizational culture continues to be a crucial and complicated component that involves language. Every subject, organization, profession, and educational setting has its own set of conceptual building blocks and vocabulary that it draws upon when developing its language or jargon (Dudézert et al., 2021). As a result, language shapes how individuals think about the world by representing cultural conceptions, beliefs, norms, values, and behaviors. Existing staff members are sometimes too courteous to call new hires out on their improper behavior. As a result, it is crucial to integrate new workers into the company culture. Employees should describe how new hires are similar to visitors in many respects. They are in a foreign place with unfamiliar cultural practices. They will make errors, but since they are attempting to blend in, the locals will frequently overlook them.

An organization is enabling the new employee to confront the vibrant culture without the anxiety of coming across as silly by understanding that new workers will act in ways that are foreign to the organizational culture. In this evolving and developing world, presentation administration is one of the most crucial activities in universities (Nardon and Hari, 2021). The departments' and institutes' cultures can provide performance measurements with all the information they need. Academic institutions are where more freedom and democracy are needed. The most crucial factors influencing creativity and the long-term sustainability of academic success are the working environment and management style.

The political Metaphors

Stakeholders form an important part of the organization. The stakeholders have taken certain decisions that help provide the necessary actions in the organization. Three categories of organizational stakeholders include economic, societal and organizational stakeholders. It is said that these stakeholders form a metaphorical circle with organizational stakeholders in the middle. The entire political system of the stakeholders revolves around a metaphor cycle that includes managers, stakeholders and consumers. The motivations of these stakeholders have been economical, and a strong relationship has been noticed with the firm. Metaphors have been considered to be pretty strong when it comes to diversity in an organization. It has been observed that an equal number of males and females are working together in an organization. There is an equal amount of benefits that have been observed that an organization provides both for male and female employees (Alshniet, 2021). The employees are judged based on their performance in the organization. The employee's viewpoints in the organizations are given the importance that helps in the successful outcome in the organization. However, the organization does not judge employees on their sexual orientation or race. The conflicts in the organization symbolize the employees and the management. The organization might have a tough discussion on any topic. Perhaps they do not agree that it is necessary for the organization. However, it has been observed that correct measures are required to be taken to help reduce the negative effect of conflicts in the organization. It is known to be one of the most controversial topics in the organization. Thus, necessary steps must be taken will help in resolving the issues that are being faced by the management of the organization. .

Psychic prison metaphor

The components of the psychic person that has been observed are in the organization. It is defined as when a person becomes trapped and unable to understand the socially constructed reality, which can harm them. Now, these peoples are responsible for long themselves. That's they are termed a psychic person. It has been seen that when a person is known as a psychic prison, they experience powerful matter for various reasons. The power of Metaphor lies when the ability of the bits to help predict the human nature organization has been able to reveal an inability that takes on new perspectives and inventions due to various circumstances (Dell et al., 2021). It has been upsetting when an organization thinks of psychic prison as one of the powerful ways to help maintain a healthy perspective that reality has around the people. The most important question around values and oceans is whether they are fed by various organizations that make life. According to the organization, if it is viewed as a psychic prison, it also helps them to think about the various organization that may trap them in a way that would have generated the idea of a Prism. It consists of images of the strained interaction that might apply to many large organizations. Various limitations that have been observed in the psychic person are that there is a possibility many factors can be manipulated very easily. The psychic person is very much prone to domination. They appreciate the factors if someone dominates them. These types of people tend to live in the same kind of mindset.

Flux and transformation metaphor

The flux and the transformation in the Metaphor are defined as self-reliance among the employees in the organization. It also helps in embracing the system of the organization by producing and maintaining itself and creating its part. It is known to be an evolution of an organism that has the power to change the environment. The idea of organizational transformation and flax has been reflected earlier. It has been addressed that the universe was a constant state of flux which embodies the features of both permanent and change. According to the belief that has been observed that there are naturally ordered images out of the various cause, it also has the natural capacity to renew itself more. Even a life that is not governed by the rules has a cost and effect, and the key tensions that are more important have emerged from various new ways of doing things. Their formal organizational structures only help represent one of the various dimensions of organizational life (MANUTI and GIANCASPRO, 2021). There is a logic of a self-producing system with its theory which has the referral system driving themselves in their image. Economy self-reference is a circular feature that will help in a line to create and renew the main is to produce themselves and identify their success to the situation where it can trade conditions that will help them evolve along the environment. Attendance has been made by the organization, which helps in achieving self-reference in acting as an extension of their own identity. Various views exist regarding nonlinear systems in the organization that are characterized to fly multiple systems of interactions in the order system. Random disturbance might produce predictable relationships; however, they have various coherent ways that always emerge out of the randomness and the chaotic surfaces.

Instrument of domination metaphor

There has been an organic matter that focuses on the organization as an ionic has an added adjective system that may change its form to reflect its environment. The systematic relationship that has with the organization request to be appreciated will help in understanding the implication of changing the part of the organization. Various theories revolve around the Marxist factors that identify that the organization's material and economic growth has the force and their relationship of products, the principle context determining the Revolution conflict and the state that there is an acute structure regarding the social class or the coalition of the classes. According to Marxism, the revolution is the result and expression of the various struggles of the class between exploiting the classes. The classes on the rise are known as the Revolutionary classes, and the situations are known to be developing during the historical period when there has been a development in the forces of production, which includes technology and the division of labour. A failed social system has become paralyzed due to the involvement of politicians and bureaucrats in the organizations. Certain constraint factors work in an organization regarding the promotion of the economy, which are dependent mainly on tax revenues and other legitimacy (Sabrina et al., 2021). Certain formulated materialistic approaches have made a revolution that might deprive organizational growth. It also explains models associated with the organization. There has been a certain modification of the components that have been done. There is various exploitation that the organization has observed during the periods of the economic crisis that are not the results of the development of the consciousness or organizations among the exploited groups. Whatever the situation after the unjust when there is exploitation takes place; the situations are brought under control by implementing certain theories and frameworks that make the system much more helpful and smooth.

Metaphor benefits in Organisation:

An overview of Morgan’s Metaphor in respect of organisation has already been provided. According to the studies of Tohidian et al., (2019), the benefit that comes along with such usage of metaphors in an organisation is that, a better understanding of the organisation itself. Organisations and their problems can be properly analysed if metaphors are used. With Morgan's metaphors, solving the organisational issues becomes comparatively less difficult and challenging. Metaphors can also be beneficial to understand the ways an organisation behaves or acts. They not only benefit in understanding an organisation and its functions with precision but also provide a clear insight into how a certain organisation is made of and how issues can be addressed that arise from such organisation. Metaphor helps to get an idea of its totality or to compare issues inside the organisational structure that might aid the leaders and other figureheads. At the same time metaphors can also help to create a space of communication, which in turn might benefit the organisation to sustain. Solving issues within an organisation are undoubtedly challenging, however, the usage of metaphor might open doors by offering numerous ways to look at and analyse the issues. After analysing problems, management might use political, machine, organism, or any other metaphors to solve them according to the requirement of the situation. Neither the leaders nor the management will be forced to stick to any one method of solving problems within an organisation. Managers or leaders can work to resolve grave organisational issues with the help of Morgan's eight metaphors as they would be able to achieve multiple insights into the problems. With such knowledge, present issues and future conflicts might be eradicated from the structural levels of the organisation. Metaphors also benefit from understanding the structural complexity of organisations and initiating changes within them. Metaphors tend to create connections and simplify complexities within an organisation to provide solutions to managerial problems.

Impact of Organisational Metaphors on Leadership:

According to the works of Pistol, (2020), metaphors as categorised by Morgan, can be described as a ‘lens’, through which organisations can be analysed and understood. Leaders are the head employees who are chiefly responsible for the smooth running of various teams in the organisation and the organisation as a whole. Every leader leading an organisation views that institution in a particular way and interprets the experiences according to their understanding. The advantage of using metaphors, especially by a leader, might enable them to view the organisation and other employees' behaviour in a broader spectrum. However, the metaphors at the same time have impacted the leaders and their way to manage organisations. As mentioned previously in the paper, eight metaphors of Morgan consist of the machine, namely organism, brain, political, cultural, psychic prison, the instrument of domination, flux, and transformation.

According to Fitzgerald, (2020), The machine metaphor impacted leadership heavily, by giving the leader the prime position of thinker. The employees in this paradigm are workers. The central responsibility of the leaders is to plan out everyone's role within the organisation and to eradicate unproductive employees from work. Leadership under the organism metaphor uses step-by-step methods to execute a plan and they are responsible for sensing changes within the organisation. Under the paradigm of brain metaphor, leadership is redefined, as the leaders here will not only use methods to measure their teams' effectiveness but also will question how the team defines effectiveness. The leadership under cultural metaphor is traditional and against accepting changes. The leaders under this metaphor are expected to represent their culture, which can be troublesome sometimes. If the culture is negative or conservative then bringing change within organisations will be a difficult task. Leadership under the paradigm of political metaphor competes to attain attention, influence, and domination. This metaphor can reflect how the leaders are perceived. Under the metaphor named psychic prison, the leadership here is critical of their understanding, prejudices, and biases. The leadership here also reflects on their self-awareness and works to create an inclusive environment. The most realistic metaphor found in organisational structure is the instrument of domination, where the leadership plays the dominating role and rejects the wills and self-determination of the employees. In the last metaphor of flux and transformation, leadership here is cautious and is open to smaller and safe changes and to gathering resources for more changes while shutting down defeats.

Metaphorical Studies on Organisation:

Metaphorical studies and organisation are interconnected issues. According to the research of Ajmed et al., (2022), changes in an organisation are a constant feature. Changes brought without plans can foster chaos, however, planned changes generally seen in an organisation driven by a team and leaders bring benefits to the work environment. According to the study of xxx, it shows how teams metaphorically engage in the plans and it also determines the importance of metaphorical studies on organisation. Metaphorical studies help to understand and analyse the organisation and its functioning. The studies answer a lot of questions regarding the apparatus of an organisation, like how it works, and why it works in that way. The metaphorical studies also unravel the complexities of an organisation and how the organisation deals with changes also come under its scope. According to the findings of Kopczynski (2018), questions were raised about whether to label metaphorical studies or rather metaphors as a holder of positive or negative status. Metaphorical studies later are labeled as having a positive outlook because it benefits seeing the organisation in a better view with structural insights. Metaphorical studies have been used in organisation for a long time now, with a rich literature source. Studies have been focusing on how metaphors are used in various organisational setups and how they influenced power, resistance, and even leadership. Metaphorical studies and research shows that metaphors can be deployed to achieve certain goals like bringing humanistic transformation and radical structural changes in the organisations. It is believed that organisational studies have been impacted by this as well. As the world is changing and is slowly accepting the changes brought about by globalisation, metaphorical studies have developed many avenues, influencing organisation, their working culture, and their behaviour as a whole. Scholars of metaphorical studies have contributed to this development immensely. Apart from the classic eight-metaphor paradigm of Morgan, metaphorical studies have been progressing to bring about new theories and thinking regarding organisation.

The importance of focusing on the image schematic dimension of metaphor:

According to the studies of Cornelissen, (2002), the image schematic dimension of metaphor in organisation studies is important. The study involves strategy and it unveils the unknown dynamics of organisations. The development of this concept has been a recent phenomenon in which organisational identity has been considered to be described as a metaphor. The requirement to understand organisation and its functioning made a space where research was conducted, and metaphors were used to explain. Since then, metaphor has been in vogue to understand not only the organisation but also impacted organisational studies. The metaphors are supposed to provide non-existent, fresh explanations and insights into the organisation, by taking up a particular organisational phenomenon. They are also used for constructing theories of organisation studies. The study of Cornelissen, (2002) shows that a proper connection between happenings and metaphors is important as it negates confusion. Metaphors are efficient and productive when certain subjects are inspected or investigated. Thus, normal language and metaphorical language are quite difficult to distinguish. It is also believed that metaphors can develop into a new model or a new dimension that might give new explanations. Metaphors have been divided into 'live' and 'dead', and the former metaphor is characterised as a particular metaphor that is almost a theory, awaiting to explain an organisational phenomenon or to get included in the organisational studies. On the other hand, a 'dead' metaphor can be explained as a particular form of it that has already been in use for a long time. The usage of the metaphor that is effectively common and in practice is named as 'dead' metaphor.


The conclusion of this paper must focus on the metaphor paradigms and their impact on organisation and their functioning. Among the eight paradigms of Morgan, scholars have tended to focus only on two or majorly three in total. However in reality it has been seen that paradigms intermingle with each other and influence the organisational functions. The interpretation of focusing on a single paradigm does not explain the organisational behaviour and changes that are found in it. Thus all eight metaphors have their functionality and they benefit the organisation to identify issues and eradicate them. As metaphors impact leadership within organisation, it can also be said that metaphors impact organisational theories and studies (Green, 1996).


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