The Bunker: metaphor, materiality & management

BENNETT, Luke (2011). The Bunker: metaphor, materiality & management. Culture and Organization, 17 (2), 155-173.

PDF (Please see 'Additional Information')
Luke_Bennett_-_The_Bunker_-_mentality,_materiality_and_metaphor_(author's_pre-print_draft).pdf - Submitted Version
Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (2MB) | Preview
Link to published version::


The image of the ‘bunker’ has a deep resonance in contemporary organisational discourse, This paper seeks to explore the link between this metaphor and the materiality of the bunker as an actual place. The Twentieth Century origins of the bunker lie within the rise of aerial bombardment. The bunker, as a structure, is a triumph of function over form, yet it somehow also resonates at a symbolic level – either by invocation of the abject circumstances of Hitler’s final days in his Berlin bunker or in the celluloid imaginings of the nuclear command bunker during the Cold War. In each case the materiality, the ‘concrete’ essence, of the bunker weaves in and out of its symbolic existence. This paper also considers the fate of these bunkers and what their ruins leave for us as traces of the essentialist organisational life lived in extremis by those who dwelt within them. Keywords: metaphor; organisational symbolism; bunker; air-raid; phenomenology of dwelling; shelter; nuclear war; Hitler; Virilio; logistics of perception.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: NB: the attached is the author’s pre-print draft of an article entitled 'The Bunker; mentality, materiality and metaphor'. This version was subsequently revised and published in Culture and Organization (2011) 17(2) 155-173 under the modified title ‘The Bunker: metaphor, materiality and management’ as part of that journal’s special issue on ‘Architecture & Organization: Structure, Text and Context’. The pre-print version contains additional bunker related analysis that was removed from the final published version and replaced with a more extensive discussion of organisation theory and materiality and spatiality in social theory, including application of Actor-Network Theory. Interested readers are urged to refer to the final version for this missing element. Author Posting. (c) Taylor & Francis, 2011. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Taylor & Francis for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Culture and Organization, Volume 17 Issue 2, March 2011. doi:10.1080/14759551.2011.544894 (
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Built Environment Division Research Group
Identification Number:
Page Range: 155-173
Depositing User: Luke Bennett
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2011 15:08
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 11:32

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics