An Issue for Business Education: Dominant Organisational Metaphors do not enable Sustainable Development
This paper challenges the use of machine and organism metaphors relative to the enablement of sustainable development. It argues these metaphors will not enable sustainable development because they perpetuate a story that dehumanises and de-prioritises us (humans) at the expense of the organisation (the abstract) which in turn becomes a rarefied and prioritised subject. This result is not consistent with the whole of humanity narrative that is entwined within sustainable development. To develop its argument the paper discusses the limitations of the machine and organism metaphors relative to and also reviews sustainable development via metaphors highlighting how the concept implicates the central role of humans as metaphorically; doctor, patient and disease. The paper also highlights results from prior research that illustrate how some organisational leaders are thinking in humanising ways.
Sustainable Futures Symposium Papers
Organisation and Management Theory