How would you describe your campus culture or your school environment? Would you carefully outline the details of the working conditions, the way people interact in meetings, or the unique communication style of your organization? Or would you rather use a descriptive phrase, or even a metaphor, to summarily reveal your organization’s culture? Metaphor analysis, as a means to uncover organizational culture, is an increasingly popular strategy for qualitative researchers. In interpretative qualitative studies, metaphors comprise a form of linguistic analysis which assists researchers who are interested in an intensive but short-term evaluation of organizational culture (Patton, 2002; Schmitt, 2005). Since language serves as a pivotal cultural artifact, metaphors emerge from that sphere as a particularly expressive language form.
Billups, Felice D., "Exploring Organizational Culture Through Metaphor Analysis" (2011). Research Methodology. Paper 3.
Billups, F. D. (2011). Exploring organizational culture through metaphor analysis, The NERA Researcher, 49(2), 22-23.