Organization theory and military metaphor: time for a reappraisal?

Mutch, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-8054-6649, 2006. Organization theory and military metaphor: time for a reappraisal? Organization, 13 (6), pp. 751-769. ISSN 1350-5084

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A ‘conventional’ use of military metaphor would use it to convey attributes such as hierarchical organization, vertical communication and limited autonomy. This is often used in contrast to a looser form of organization based on the metaphor of the network. However, this article argues that military practice is more complex, with examples of considerable autonomy within the constraints of central direction. It is suggested that not only might this be a more useful metaphor for many contemporary organizations, but also that simplistic uses of military metaphor divert our attention away from the functions that management hierarchies play. The discussion is embedded within a critical realist account of metaphor, arguing for both its value and the need for its further development.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Military metaphor and organization theory: time for a re-examination? [working title]
Publication Title: Organization
Creators: Mutch, A.
Publisher: Sage Publications
Date: 2006
Volume: 13
Number: 6
ISSN: 1350-5084
Rights: Copyright © 2006 by SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. No portion of the contents may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:28
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:30

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