Liesbeth Gerritsen


Metaphors of the Organization: Discourse in Public and Private Worlds

In this thesis Liesbeth Gerritsen explores the role of metaphor in the public and private realms of organizational life. Metaphors that appear in group settings are compared and contrasted with metaphors that are used by individuals privately to describe the organization. She examines how people’s private metaphors of the organization relate to metaphors used by members in a group context. Are people’s private metaphors embedded within the group metaphors? Do group metaphors intersect with the private domain? This discussion is framed against the backdrop of six traditional, dominant assertions on metaphor in organizations found in the literature. A highlight of this discussion is an examination of metaphors as discursive implements used pragmatically to perform certain functions in conversations.

Liesbeth currently works as a mental health disaster planner. Her previous job focused on community-base mental health and addiction crisis intervention. She plans to take her interest in metaphor and the organization into international development work, with an emphasis on conflict reduction and mitigation practices.