Independent scholar, cat addict, tattoo lover

How to explain an academic community that theorises about knowledge intensive organisations whilst creating practical knowledge about living in this community that negates these theories? I constructed a learning history of an academic business school and found some answers. Confronting the collective narrative of the organisation about itself with analyses and recommendations written for others, I found little correspondence between the two. To find out why, I deconstructed the organisational narrative and searched for dominant metaphors that guided everyday practice. I found that a battlefield metaphor was used to make sense of what happened since the start of the organisation, which as a sense-making device evolved from collective to individual survival. I will present the metaphor, demonstrate its evolution and outline what it meant for staff to be writing about ideal organisations while not being able to produce one themselves.

Basten (2011). Metaphor in Action in an Academic Battlefield. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Special Issue Article, 28 (150-159).
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