Business Metaphors By: Carla Chew, Hope Dunbar, Nathaniel Wise, Ibilola Solarin
Metaphorhttp://dictionary.reference.com/browse/metaphor “Dictionary.com is a free online dictionary where you can instantly look up accurate definitions.”.
What is a Metaphor ? • “a figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison.” (dictionary.com)
Common Metaphors in the News/Media http://www.metaphorobservatory.com/
This site notes the prevalence of metaphors in the media as they are used to describe current events, and compiles a Top Ten List of metaphors for recent years (beginning in 2005). • The site also notes when a current event begins to propagate themed metaphors, such as when describing the financial crisis by comparing the economy to a sick creature: • health of the economy - “the economy is a living, breathing creature.” • lifeblood of the economy - “lending carries nutrients around an economy.” • stop the bleeding - “economic lifeblood is leaking.” • shock the heart of the economy - “the heart of the economy (unspecified) has stopped.” • inject capital - “money is a blood transfusion.”
In a study done by Zolton Kovecses, he researched that there are about three dozen metaphors of love. • One can describe people’s metaphors of interpersonal conflict • (Eisikovitz and Buchbinder 1999) describe metaphors for battered women in domestic violence • (Baxter 1992) describe metaphors for relationship that are in development stage. • (Owen 1993) describe metaphors for relationships that are coming to an end. • Relationship as machine is another common metaphor. Like a machine, relationships have parts that need to be assembled or coordinated through the expenditure of time and energy. Like machines, relationships are oriented toward the output of some manufactured product—typically a stable, satisfactory relational outcome. Relationships, like machines, can break down and need ongoing maintenance and repair work.
Said What ? • http://www.saidwhat.co.uk/spoon/metaphors.php
This website contains a list of common every day metaphors. • “Apple of my eye” - someone very precious to us • “Kicked the bucket” • to die
The business industry often use metaphors as competitive strategies, shortcuts, or convenient communication tools. • Metaphors used as communication tools can be misinterpret if they are not clear • Metaphors are used to help plan competitive strategies. • Using metaphors have great benefits for business such as motivation for creativity and innovation. • Business metaphors should be broad. Example: • “Business-as-biology refers to a Product life-cycle theory such as pregnancy and gestation to investment and product development, compares birth to introducing a product, and equates product maturity and decline to death and extinction.”
Metaphors can provide clues to how a negotiator might view the business negotiation. • Business metaphors in negotiation can be used in framing a dispute or situation. • Metaphors used in business reveals how a person may view the situation and suggests how they may react. Examples: • “level playing field, means they are talking about the negotiation strengths of either side or a desire to take a more collaborative approach”. • “we ought to be dancing more in sync, suggest that your headed towards a productive agreement that has good value for both sides”.
Improving Business Communication: Speaking Metaphorically http://www.cio.com/article/29489/Improving_Business_Communication_Speaking_Metaphorically
This site discusses how metaphors can improve business communication. • While building systems designers portray the coded worlds they create using metaphor to make it easier to understand and easily accepted. • Metaphors, when used effectively can make a site or system intuitively obvious to the new user by providing comfortable and familiar surrounding that helps users quickly absorb the information on the site. - Example: an example is the shopping cart on online stores. it helps provide them with something easier to understand and relate to
How a Business is Perceived by their Choice of Metaphor http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/entrepreneur/1997/january/13698.html
The article examines how different businesses can use Metaphors to shape both internal company culture and the relationships with their clients: • “[Some businesses] frame competition as warfare; therefore, they place a tremendous importance on punishing their competitors. It makes no sense, but they're so wrapped up in marketing as war, they make suboptimal decisions.” • On the other hand, a well-chosen Metaphor can sometimes encourage innovation and lead to new ways of thinking: • “the dance metaphor may give some clients pause, [Donel Young] says, but it creates a vivid picture of the give and take and sense of timing required when working with the news media. 'The dance metaphor seems to work best for explaining to our clients why we do what we do,' she says. 'It quickly makes it clear how we work.'”