Organization as Process of Communication: Theorizing the Entity-process Relation as Metonymic Compression

Dennis Schoeneborn, Consuelo Vasquez, Joep Cornelissen

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    Within process views on organization, one central question is how organizations (as entities) are constituted by processes (i.e. non-entities). The answer to this question depends on the ways in which organizational scholars imagine organization, e.g., through rhetorical figures like metaphors or metonymies. Unlike metaphors, which involve a horizontal comparison between two concepts or terms from domains that are – at least initially – seen as distant from one another, metonymies rely upon a vertical exchange between a whole and its parts within the same domain of language use. One prominent example of a metonymy is Morgan’s image of ‘organization as flux and transformation’ – an idea that has inspired a larger body of research that is known today as “process organization studies”. In this paper we suggest to draw on the neighboring metonymic image ‘organization as communication’ which not only presents a novel way of thinking about the inherently intertwined nature of metaphor and metonymy, but also expands processual thinking about organizations especially with regards to the entity-process relation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2014
    Number of pages48
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventThe 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014: Reimagining, Rethinking, Reshaping: Organizational Scholarship in Unsettled Times - Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Duration: 3 Jul 20145 Jul 2014
    Conference number: 30


    ConferenceThe 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014
    LocationRotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
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