Should a debate of the choice(s) between metaphorical investigation and epistemological realism in organizational research be prioritized as Willy McCourt called for in Organization Studies? (McCourt 1997) We argue here against doing any such thing — a ‘realism’ debate in organizational theory would merely be a ‘red herring’ (Hausman 1998). Theoretical investigation from Ricoeur to Derrida has liberated us from the need to re-visit the theme, but examination of Gareth Morgan's (and Gibson Burrell's) intellectual development, as begun by McCourt, is of interest because it reveals two very different ‘realisms’. What is of interest about ‘realism’ is not an eitherlor of either ‘realism’ or ‘constructivism’, but a polyphony of the many voices (‘selfs’) of research.

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Organization Studies
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Letiche, H., & Uden, J. (Jacco) van. (1998). Answers to a Discussion Note: On the ‘Metaphor of the Metaphor’. Organization Studies, 19(6), 1029–1033. doi:10.1177/017084069801900606