Male-Body-Part-Metaphors-driven Organizational Change

If, from a critical and/or strategic management perspective, you’ve examined the metaphorical resources provided by specific parts of the male body for thinking [about] masculinity in social and organizational contexts, then, like many others, you may well have concentrated on the phallus. Now, a new paper in the journal Human Relations (March 5, 2015) points out that :

“ […] other parts of the male genitalia can and do act as root metaphors for alternative forms of masculinity. Where the phallic metaphor focuses attention on power and control, the testicular and seminal metaphors highlight aspects of masculinity that are more relational and creative and bring it closer to the feminine.”

SteveLinsteadgaranceAuthors Prof. Stephen Andrew Linstead, BA, MA, MSC, PhD, DLitt, FRSA, FCIPD, FCMI, Professor of Critical Management at the University of York, UK [pictured left] and Dr Garance Marechal, MA (Distinction), MBA, MSc (Distinction), Ph.D (Distinction), Lecturer in Strategic Management at the University of Liverpool Management School, UK [pictured right] elaborate in their paper ‘Re-reading masculine organization: Phallic, testicular and seminal metaphors’. They explain for example, that Testicular Organizational Manifestation can appear in three forms :

Supportive affiliation
Classic coaching behaviour, developing a capacity in others to ‘have the balls’ to assert oneself. Supportive of initiative and develops individuality with collaborative limits. Endurance, protectiveness, passive listening, receptiveness, nurturing over time, ‘stickability’, continuity. Error is corrigible. May degenerate into mere clubbiness, which leads to an easy consensus in decision making.

Competitive affiliation
Team is a collection of individuals – works together to compete against external groups or threats, but a high degree of internal competition and rivalry can produce short-term destructive behaviour, cheating, ostensive display, and risk taking. Error comes to be seen as weakness, as in letting the side down. Can become addictive.

And, in its excessive / inverted form (Testeria)
The feeling you get when you try your best but you don’t make the team or don’t fit in. Feelings of abjection, being vanquished, unworthiness, depressive, obstructive, stubborn, expresses hopelessness and helplessness. No confidence to initiate new activity, withdraws from belief inexisting activity. May convert passive aggression to active opposition to the culture.


Also see: The Testicular Fortitude of Urbexers

Note: According to the online multiple dictionary lookup facility the word “inexisting” doesn’t exist. It does now.