Berichte der Werkstatt für Organisations- und Personalforschung e.V. 30
This paper examines how companies endeavor to create legitimizing images of themselves and their practices by making use of metaphoric language. The analysis is based on the 2012 annual reports and sustainability reports of two major german energy companies and is conducted in two steps: A systematic metaphor analysis identifies 21 metaphorical concepts, which are further condensed to five meta concepts on the basis of the created company images: progress metaphor, control metaphor, harmony metaphor, conflict metaphor and euphemistic metaphor. In a following step, a correspondence analysis of the meta concepts used and the variety of topics addressed in the company reports (e.g. economic or social topics) identifies a variance of the concepts according to the thematic context. Most of the meta concepts are used more frequently within the context of a specific discursive field.