Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Keith Hearit

Second Advisor

Dr. Leigh Ford


In this paper, I examine the "the merger as a marriage" metaphor as used by the merger participants as well as by the authors of Taken for a Ride. In Metaphors We Live By (1980), authors George Lakoff and Mark Johnson examine what metaphor is and the many different forms of metaphor that exist in our language. A thorough analysis of the scholarly book by Lakoff & Johnson assisted in the creation of the merger as a marriage metaphor, which has many entailments that substantiate the metaphor as a whole. I first give a description of the theory as presented in Metaphors We Live By and a methodology of how metaphor is formed, followed by a brief history of the DaimlerChrysler merger. I will then analyze the merger as a marriage metaphor and assess its usefulness as a beneficial metaphor to describe the marriage.

I argue the use of the merger as a marriage metaphor is not one that fully addresses all of the issues involved in a merger; it hides certain aspects of the merger—negative aspects— that one must understand in order to comprehend the ramifications of the merger. Schrempp, Eaton and others involved in the merger, however, utilized the merger as a marriage metaphor to explain the merger process to their employees and outsiders. Specifically this thesis argues that the use of this metaphor created a falsehood about exactly what the merger entailed, and this ultimately caused problems in regard to employee and outside reactions to the merger. I also suggest that the "merger as a game" metaphor is one that more fully encompasses the processes of a merger.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only