Groundbreaking work by Schulich prof to be honoured in special journal issue

The multidisciplinary academic journal Human Relations has issued a call for papers for a special 2016 issue in honour of the 30th anniversary of Schulich School of Business organization studies Professor Gareth Morgan’s groundbreaking text Images of Organization.

Morgan, a Distinguished Research Professor, first published his classic theory of organizational metaphor in 1986 and it revolutionized scholarly thinking.

Almost 30 years later, Images of Organization remains a core management text on the curriculum of every major business school in the gareth_morgan_7776world and is also used in corporate development programs worldwide. Now in its 24th reprinting, the book has been translated into 15 languages and has been cited in scholarly articles more than 8,000 times.

Gareth Morgan

In Images of Organization, Morgan sets out eight core metaphors variously imagining the corporation or organization as a machine, a living organism, a brain, a cultural or political system, a psychic prison, an in-flux and transformational process and an instrument of domination. He conclusively demonstrated that all thinking about organization and management is metaphorical, and the book remains essential reading for those wishing to understand the complexities of how businesses operate and how to apply organizational concepts in practice.

“Gareth’s research and theories have not only had worldwide impact, they’ve also greatly shaped our programs and thinking here at Schulich,” said Schulich Dean Dezsö J. Horváth. “His energy and passion GarethMorganBookare exceptional. If anything, his enthusiasm for his work has increased over the years.”

Morgan’s work was also celebrated in the December 2011 issue of Organization & Environment.

In its call for submissions, Human Relations states: “The book has been seen as a seminal and groundbreaking contribution. It offered rich and evocative ways of seeing organizations and organizing. Moreover, it introduced the idea of multiple perspectives and that no image of organization is a neutral one. It still stands as an unusual and non-traditional textbook, both in terms of style and content. The objective of this special issue is to examine the substance of Morgan’s contribution in an exploratory, constructive and critically engaged way, or a way that extends his work in terms of, for instance, suggesting additional metaphors or an alternative set of metaphors.”

Three guest editors have been appointed to vet submissions: Anders Örtenblad (Nottingham University Business School, China); Linda Putnam (University of California Santa Barbara, United States); and Kiran Trehan (University of Birmingham, United Kingdom). Morgan has been invited to comment on published papers in the issue. The submission deadline is May 31, 2014.

More information about the call for papers may be found at the Human Relations journal website.