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Metaphors in Self-Descriptions of Organizations
Vlasov P.K., head of the Institute of Applied Psychology "Humanitarian Centre", Kharkiv, Ukraine
Kiseleva A.A., PhD in Philology, deputy head of the Institute of Applied Psychology “Humanitarian Centre”
The paper presents results of a study aimed at exploring values and organizational culture of members of an organization through their metaphorical self-descriptions. The study involved 35 heads of several departments (production, financial and sales departments and department of new product development) working in an electrical company. The subjects were asked to describe the real and the ideal organization using metaphors at their choice. These metaphors were then analyzed according to the specially developed criteria. The revealed root metaphor suggests that safety values dominate over self-direction and achievement values in the subjects. Also, the metaphorical self-description method helped to discover the principles of organizational identity and the basic principles of the organizational culture, with its features specific for a certain type of activity.
Keywords: root metaphor, self-description, organizational culture, identity, semantic component ideal organization
Column: Applied Research and Practice