Organizationally Mute: A Metaphorical Descriptor of Silence in Organizational Life

Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Research in Business, Management and Economics

Year: 2022



Organizationally Mute: A Metaphorical Descriptor of Silence in Organizational Life

Wayne Emmanuel Credle, Jr



While organizational silence is a theory that is still being explored (Jain, 2015), there arises a need within research to classify organizations that function within a culture of organizational silence and specifically Abilene Paradox Theory within decision-making processes. Using Morgan’s (2006) organizational metaphor framework, this document presents organizationally-mute organizations as a definition for these organizations. First, the document explores metaphors, organizational silence, and Abilene paradox theory. Then, the concept of organizationally-mute organizations are introduced with its multiple components. The results are three implications of organizationally-mute organizations: (a) the experience of action anxiety and negative fantasies among membership, (b) an organizational environment that lacks organizational communication, and (c) leadership that perpetuates organizational silence. The result is a document that expands organizational silence literature, combines organizational silence and Abilene paradox theory, puts into practice Morgan’s metaphoric theory on organizational design, and provides a new metaphor for organizations that adapt or normalize organizational silence Likewise, this document initiates further discussions on creating new metaphors for organizational designs.

keywords: Organizational silence, Abilene Paradox Theory, Mute, Organizationally-Mute Organizations, Organizational Design (1) .