Metaphorical Representations of the HR Consultant

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Dragos Iliescu
Vlad Tureanu


Metaphors are among the most important means of constructing an organizational
reality and, as such, are one of the foci of scientific research in the
organizational arena. That this focal point has failed to develop more
fully is probably due to the methodological difficulties involved in
studying metaphors. Q methodology, with its fundamental accent on the
scientific study of subjectivity, brings with it both an epistemic
orientation and the technical means to tackle the problem. The present
study adopts a Q-methodological frame in order to investigate common
metaphors applied by human resources (HR) specialists to the HR
consultants they work with. A qualitative wave identified 14 metaphors,
with active meanings in seven areas of construction. From these, 57
statements were selected and sorted by 41 HR managers and general
managers in top Romanian companies. Four factors emerged, covering
rather unexpected constructions that, in some ways, diverge from the
classical metaphors known to organizational consultants.

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How to Cite
Iliescu, D., & Tureanu, V. (2005). Metaphorical Representations of the HR Consultant. Operant Subjectivity, 29(1/2). Retrieved from