Publication details [#6785]

Koller, Veronika. 2009. Missions and empires: Religious and political metaphors in corporate discourse. In Musolff, Andreas and Jörg Zinken. Metaphor and Discourse. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 116–134. 19 pp.
Publication type
Article in book  
Publication language
Place, Publisher
London: Palgrave Macmillan


Introduction For these men, the economy was their religion and their party, the company was their church and their parliament.' (Spinnen and Posner, 2005:178, trans. VK) Proposing a paradigm shift from religion to politics to business as the defining power in post-industrial societies, this chapter looks at how residues of the former two surface in corporate discourse as metaphoric expressions (e.g. corporate mission, empire-building). Market factors such as global competition and saturated demand are forcing companies to differentiate themselves by constructing corporate brand personalities. Simultaneously, multi-national corporations have amassed economic and political power that in many cases already exceeds that of nation states, let alone faith-based communities. This chapter argues that the producers of corporate discourse appropriate previous paradigms by means of metaphor both to construct their brand personality and to legitimate their increasingly hegemonic role by drawing on established, if historical, sources of power. (Veronika Koller)