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Social Psychology and Society

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2221-1527

ISSN (online): 2311-7052


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2010

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


Metaphors in Self-Descriptions of Organizations 2372

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

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