International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Allegory Applied for Organizational Learning and Foresight. Corporate Strategic Challenges Reflected in Shakespeare’s Wholeness Model
I.H. (Iris Hanna) Casteren van Cattenburch, PhD; M. (Michael) Duijn, PhD

Shakespeare’s allegorical works can be employed to reflect narratives of learning organizations for organizational learning and foresight. In four strategic sessions with companies in the logistics industry, we made an experiment with the application of Shakespeare’s allegories to relevant business issues. We worked out one case study in detail, demonstrating how the allegorical theme relates to the business challenge, and how the participants respond to the analogies to learn and anticipate. The allegorical reflection exercise is a cognitive process, in which the participants use allegory as a tool to identify and probe the causal connections between 1) their decisions, attitude or preoccupations, and 2) their professional challenges and strategic decisions. Our article explains the positive impact on the inquisitiveness of the two companies as learning organizations. We present allegory as a practical tool for boards and managers to mirror complex organizational issues to learn, adapt, and anticipate sustainable futures.

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