An Exploration of School Organization Metaphors and Their Contribution to School Change

Nai Ying Whang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores the development of organizational theory through understanding comprehensive resources of metaphors and the synergy of these metaphors’ changes in momentum. The comprehensive resources of organizational metaphors emphasize that exploration and detection of the complementary relationship between multiple metaphors can promote the development of organizational theory and the acquisition of generic competence requirements to stimulate the synergistic momentum for school reform and to respond to student needs. In this study, questionnaires were used to analyze the opinions of 409 school members across 28 middle schools. The questionnaire explored 17 metaphors and their qualitative meanings. Subsequently, according to the meanings of the metaphor momentum, 41 principals, administrative staff, teachers, and parents were interviewed. The results demonstrate that with bureaucracy as the core of the thought, machine metaphor, community metaphor, politics metaphor, organism metaphor, and brain metaphor interact to promote the development of school organization theory to stimulate school change.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • contribution to school change
  • development of organizational theory
  • mixed-method
  • school organization metaphor
  • synergistic momentum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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