Conference name British Academy of Management 2015
Sprache des Titels:
Metaphors play a privileged role in a process of knowledge combination. While previous studies focused on a specific metaphor and its impact in turning points of the scientific discovery, the dynamics of a collection of metaphors within an innovative project is underinvestigated. We show that when processes have a multidisciplinary nature, communication is populated by a multitude of metaphors that act and interact over time and with different roles. Through an historical reconstruction of a multidisciplinary scientific project, we analyse a collection of metaphors in the communication among scientists, study their different function and evolution in relation to the project advancements. We contribute to the research on metaphors in innovation by showing that (i) a process of knowledge combination is not based on just one metaphor, and (ii) the dynamics of the ecology of metaphors: some persist; others are discarded after their use; while others remain in the rhetorical background.