Beyond words: Visual metaphors that can demonstrate comprehension of KM as a paradoxical activity system
McKenzie, J. and van Winkelen, C. (2011) Beyond words: Visual metaphors that can demonstrate comprehension of KM as a paradoxical activity system. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 28 (2). pp. 138-149. ISSN 1099-1743
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/sres.1078
Following criticism that, in business and management, metaphor is largely verbal and primarily used to convey similarity, this paper explores how visual metaphors can communicate the anomalous and the paradoxical aspects of KM more concisely than words, whilst simultaneously presenting more tacit associations to stimulate creative thinking. It considers a series of 30 assessed posters that aimed to re-present six basic KM paradoxes through imagery that captures both the analogous and the anomalous. We found six categories of radial metaphors able to convey paradoxical complexity in a concise way. This has implications for organizations thinking about how to engage people with both the familiar and the strange. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.