The Importance of the Storyline

Kieser, Alfred ; Muley, Anja

Document Type: Book chapter
Year of publication: 2003
Book title: Communication in Organizations Structures and Practices
Page range: 119-134
Place of publication: Frankfurt/M.
Publishing house: Peter Lang
ISBN: 3-631-50527-2
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > ABWL u. Organisation (Kieser Em)
Subject: 330 Economics
Abstract: In our paper that is based on the interpretive approach within organiztion theory, which goes back to the sociological concept of the construction of reality, we attempt to show that stories play a decisive role in organization theory and management practices. We set out by posing the argument that organization theories are framed in the form of stories derived from root metaphors. We claim researchers are forced to accept a theory's root metaphor in order to engage in extended discourse with other proponents of the respective theory. We also try to point out that within the scientific community success is highly dependent on the ability of a researcher to plot his/her scientific stories and to present them using the appropriate rhetoric. We contend, if one accepts the aforementioned propositions, (empirical) evidence of these hypotheses and theories cannot be separated from the rhetoric in which they are presented.|In the second part of our presentation we set out that managerial action is based on analyses which do not assess "objective realities", but are rather the result of contingent processes of agreement among different actors within the field, such as management consultants, top managers, clients, suppliers, etc., on one of many possible stories about the organization's situation and the factors responsible for bringing about its respective situation. Those actors involved construct - through interaction (communication) - a reality they then treat as objectively given. The outcome of processes of fundamental organizational change can be, as we try to show, greatly facilitated through the communication of stories.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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