Poetry and the Silence of Working Life

Andrew Aramitage


Poetry and its use in the workplace has seen a growing interest in recent years, being used as a way to help those who work in organisational settings to explore and tell their stories. These can speak directly to individuals through the works of others or can emerge from organisational contexts to enable them to make sense of their own particular situations. Poetry has been used to explore, for example, organisational management practices, leadership, performance management, and to aid creative development and problem solving. It has also provided a means for individuals to understand how they interact with their organisational settings, or in some cases as a way to undertake research. Those who write poetry engage in the world as a way to allow their voice and those of others to be heard, as they explore and come to terms with their situated reality. This paper will therefore discuss the use of poetry in the workplace, before presenting three poems that use memory and metaphor to engage with organisational realities. It will then offer reflections and implications for organisational studies, before concluding that poetry provides a way to explore the hidden worlds of organisations that are often ignored or remain silent in the milieu of the taken for granted organisational rhetoric, and conversations. 


Poetry; Memories; Metaphor; Research; Silence

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