Philosophy of Management 7 (2):41-59 (2009)

Abstract
A range of stakeholders are interested in organisational values, with demands from consumers, trade unions and pressure groups. Organisations face the challenge of integrating employees from several cultures and overcoming value differences. Coupled with this emphasis on organisational values there is increasing interest in the role of discourse in constituting meaning. This research shows how texts constitute organisational values. Hermeneutics is used to analyse the texts of the Open University and UK FTSE4good companies. The research shows that organisational values are constituted through three hermeneutic circles – fragmentation/integration, conceptuality/contextuality and temporality – that provide an integrated medium for interpreting values. The three hermeneutic circles are mediated by a fourth: the tropological circle, where metaphor and homonymy fuse horizons, and synecdoche and metonymy relate parts and whole. Both texts and tropes mediate the transvaluation of organisational values across time. In recontextualising its values the organisation becomes a metaphor of itself
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1740-3812
DOI 10.5840/pom20097228
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