This article discusses how the emerging trend of using literary arts and dialogue, along with reflective and creative writing, referred to by the author as transformative narratives, can be used to help unpack and re-script assumptions, attitudes, values, and biases of leaders as they operate in systems of privilege. When leaders read, write, and dialogue about their own and others’ cultural and social group identities, they increase self-awareness and improve interaction with others. These skills prove effective in building emotional intelligence that is linked to competencies of high performing leaders who create strong financial performance in their organizations. Specific applications are provided throughout the article.
This article grows out of a feeling that, over the past ten years or so, the concept of story has become distinctly too comfortable. Ideas that once seemed crisp and provocative (e.g. "The truth of a story lies in its meaning, not in its accuracy", "We are all storytelling animals", "Stories are repositories of knowledge" etc.) have assumed the standing of unquestioned truths, almost ‘facts’, in Latour’s view. Moreover, I have come to view some of the current ‘controversies’, notably over performance versus text, as diversions from more problematic aspects of the use of stories in organizational research. The purpose here to reproblematize the idea of narrative, to recover its recalcitrant and even dangerous qualities once more and point out some consequences of their seductive powers. In particular, I would like to argue that stories can be vehicles of contestation and opposition but also of oppression, easily slipping into hegemonic discourses; furthermore, that they can be vehicles to enlightenment and understanding but also to dissimulation and lying; and finally, that they do not obliterate or deny the existence of facts but allow facts to be re-interpreted and embellished – this makes stories particularly dangerous devices in the hands of image-makers, hoaxers and spin doctors. Stories have recently emerged as criticism-free zones, affording their authors an immunity from many requirements that apply to other narratives and texts. It is time, in my view, to withdraw this immunity. Neither stories, nor experiences are above academic criticism, challenge and contestation.
This paper presents a personal account of how an individualized qualitative research process attempts to understand farmers. A story of how the author interacts with and interviews farmers in order to understand how they and the narrator constructs meaning about what it is to be a farmer and the ‘parallel world’ of the farmer. Explores some methodological issues and problems about framing farmers as entrepreneurs.
Friedrich Nietzsche’s writings are currently threatened in that he is he treated only as a philosopher or a poet, and his relationship with twentieth century politics and latterly Management theory is largely ignored, excepting of course when he is held to be responsible for the growth in Fascism. In this paper an attempt will be made to show that Nietzsche should not simply be considered as the deracine par excellence with no interest with more general humanitarian concerns.
This paper presents a background to Nietzsche and his relationship to Managerialism and then provides a story written in Glaswegian argot of the relationship between a recruit to a Law Enforcement Office in Glasgow, Scotland and his new Manager. An interesting tale about performance management, illustrates how the abuse of power hides personal and organizational dysfunctionality.
Another key feature in the twist at the end of the tale is the manifestation of simulacra in performance measures relating to inspection tasks, where we see that ‘work not done but recorded’ becomes more important, more ‘real’ than ‘work done but not recorded’. This is the excess of history.
The story is written in the Glaswegian vernacular partly as homage to the renowned author James Kelman, but more significantly in an attempt take us closer to the lived experience of the actors – as opposed to the more usual sanitised accounts which abound in the management literature. The language is surprisingly ‘industrial’ in what is regarded as a ‘professional’ setting.
This paper is about an entrepreneurial fraternity and its role in reworking and reframing entrepreneurial excess. We achieve this through considering the historical presentation of the entrepreneur as an isolated individual, a maverick, can be mediated through the adoption of historical modes of organisation that have been appropriated to provide conformity, legitimacy and a sense of belonging. To achieve the purpose of our paper we examine the website of the Memphis based society of entrepreneurs (www.societyofentrepreneurs.com). Through examination of stories on the website, we show how the conservativeness of the stories presented may play a key role in creating a entrepreneurial identity that counters the rebellious and recklessness of the young turks. We suggest that while these modes of organisation may initially seek to curb entrepreneurial excess, in time, they have the potential to be abused, and thus, in themselves, become a form of excess.
We propose in this article to take a story approach to organizational analysis. This implies that organizational life is perceived as polyphonic, equivocal, dialogical, unfinished and unresolved. We describe this approach as antenarrative inquiry in that it seeks to question established truths and moralities embedded in the narratives of the present. Antenarrative inquiry thus suspends beginnings, middles and ends in narratives and gives room for other voices. We propose Foucault’s power analysis, genealogy, as a method for antenarrative inquiry. We demonstrate the ideas of genealogy by relating it to Ricoeur’s work on narrative and time where experience is portrayed as a mimetic circle where endpoints lead back to pre-narration. We argue instead that organizational life is result of complex chains of interactions, negotiations and struggles. Genealogical scrutiny thus shakes up the mimetic circle and opens up for new interpretations of organizational life by revealing the power relations embedded in the conditions in which this life is storied and re-storied.
The poem, Coyote and Brother Crow: A Little History, was written to be presented to new employees with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). It was meant as a catalyst to provide a timeline of events, promote discussion, and uncover diverse perspectives among those employees. Although on one level the poem is (hopefully!) a creative, entertaining presentation of history, on another level it is deep-rooted in the value of storytelling as a means to champion sensemaking and to develop insight. There are some theoretical foundations that may support the storytelling value of a creative piece.
This paper contends that knowledge-making is a political act. In reflecting on the nature of personal narrative and its uses for refugee research, three insights emerge: first, just as the personal is political, so too, the political is personal; next, any storytelling is political in its attention to audience, and is inflected by the discourses available at the time; and finally, researchers must understand that if storying is to grapple with the richness and complexity of lived experience, it will probably be chaotic and messy, as well as clear and straightforward. Researchers wanting to investigate the sociology of refugee experiences might be well advised to ensure that the stories they gather from research participants are not too neat, too straightforward, too much reduced to bare essentials in their telling, lest the chance to allow the stories to become personally and politically resonant be lost. Further, researchers who are conscious of the political resonance of narrative are advised to ensure that they draw attention to the narrative element embedded in their research reports and papers by finding ways to communicate the narratives directly to the commissioning policy makers and politicians through verbal and pictorial seminar presentations, as well as through the reports themselves. These insights have implications for research processes (the gathering and analysis of data) and for the presentation and writing up of research documents.
The advent of globalization has resulted in extensive global economic opportunities for many countries around the world. Most countries, fueled by the desire for survival and the spectacle of historical excess, accept various plans, programs and agreements available for trade and economic improvement. The cycle of working through the same processes of signing agreements and paying back loans continues for developing countries, such as the countries making up the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), even as their economic situation remains the same or hardly improves. Since the objective is survival, the outcomes indicate a need for evaluation of the benefits and consequences of this excess history. This article presents the struggle for survival experienced by the countries making up the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). Through an analysis of historical excess we present the impact of the assistance on the struggle of CARICOM countries to survive. Nietzsche’s critical species of history is used to re-situate and re-story the history of survival for these countries.
Freidrich Nietzsche has declared an ‘excess of history.’ History is not being crafted for the purpose of life. Nietzsche posits three kinds of history: antiquarian (excessive concern for the past as just trivia about heroes), monumental (emerging history of becoming that is being stifled), and need for critical history (a resistance to antiquarian that can degenerate into skepticism and cynicism). My purpose is to develop the three modes of past into a critique of retrospective narrative and point to its antithesis, living story of becoming. Organizations suffer from an excess of retrospective narrative history. The antidote is a methodology we at STORI are calling ‘story noticing.’
This paper explores and reflects upon how far clergy may act as entrepreneurial leaders in a faith-based organisation which values tradition and continuity, yet wishes to open its membership to a wider constituency. In spite of increased secularisation in Britain, religion and its role in people‘s lives refuses to disappear. Churches and other religious movements now frequently seek to adapt change management techniques to promote cultural diversity and thus appeal to a wider potential membership. At congregational level, clergy become responsible for implementing cultural change initiatives. Consequently, the clergy role may involve responsibility not just for spiritual and ministry issues, in the context of caring for church members‘ emotional needs, but also for management. If, as managers, clergy are responsible for promoting cultural change through management initiatives, it is but a short step to restory them as entrepreneurs, or at least entrepreneurial leaders. Indeed, strategic enterprise thinking is needed to achieve successful cultural change. The pressures on clergy to act as both spiritual ‗therapists‘ and to manage sophisticated corporate operations place a strain on their ability to be also ministers, and obvious anomalies exist. For example, congregations might value leadership behaviours in their clergy, but not when leadership involves acting as a catalyst for cultural change. The more enterprising clergy can experience frustration in bringing about even small innovations and change, and may experience role strain when required to balance the need for providing individual support to existing congregation members with an expectation of appealing to new sources of membership.
In recent years, entrepreneurship scholars have begun studying entrepreneurship from social, prosaic, narrative, and discursive dimensions. These ―new movement‖ approaches privilege both business and non-business perspectives. Research in this domain of inquiry seeks to account for the everyday and mundane practices of social actors that can be characterized as entrepreneurial; therefore, prosaic approaches can de-center the narrative of entrepreneurship as comprised solely of a group of elite entrepreneurs. While researchers are encouraged to describe entrepreneurship from a life-story perspective, few scholars have used a self-narrative approach to writing about entrepreneurship. In this article, I use autoethnography to provide a personal account of entrepreneurship. I reflexively interrogate the ways in which I have reproduced, disrupted, benefited from, and been hindered by the dominant enterprise discourses in the United States. A prosaic approach using self-narrative, as demonstrated, is already engaged in a process of restorying entrepreneurship scholarship because it takes into account, among other things, the details of everyday entrepreneurial activity and is receptive to heterodox accounts (even stories that end in entrepreneurial failure).
Media and entrepreneur support organizations glorify empire building entrepreneurs, reflecting a world-view of older generations. Research on nascent entrepreneurs reveals that few of them are building organizations that fit the old ideal. Instead, their priorities and the stories they are creating better reflect the career view of the generation now entering the workforce (Generation Y). When asked about future organizational success, the 187 nascent entrepreneurs in this study focused on relationships, integrity and lifestyle. This paper explores which types of entrepreneurs may be held up as exemplary as the Baby Boomers leave positions of power and Generation Y enters the workforce: What the stories may be, and what impact this may have on education, economy, families, and public policy.
Through two case studies, this paper explores the role that story or narrative has upon the changing role of the entrepreneur within organizations. The literature on story and leadership is compiled and eight themes are identified. These themes are then used to take a dramatist perspective on the case study narratives. Findings show that there is a new realm of research that could be conducted to illicit a better understanding of narrative and entrepreneurship, specifically: longitudinal studies would help to illicit whether entrepreneurs do restory in face of organizational pressures and identification of the stories told by stakeholders in face of entrepreneurial changes. There is also more research to be conducted on the impact that locus of control has on narrative construction and restorying.
The interest in societal forms of entrepreneurship has increased in recent decades, emphasizing different kinds of prefixed such as ―social‖ ―ecological‖, ―sustainable‖, ―regional‖. In this article societal and social is at stake. Taking a point of departure in the prefix stories of entrepreneurship we read a wish to break with the grand narrative of entrepreneurship as well as attempts to feed into and draw legitimacy from the grand narrative. In this article we take a point of departure in an initiative taken in Sweden to introduce and finance a program labeled ―Societal entrepreneurship‖. The purpose is to create knowledge about, as well as conditions for, initiatives aiming at improving what is missing or does not work in public structures, and finding new and innovative solutions in order to create an economically, socially and ecologically sustainable society. Applying Burke‘s pentad it is illustrated that the grand narrative of entrepreneurship consists of the heroic entrepreneur (agent) who creates a kingdom (act) by way of establishing a company (agency) on the market in order to make a profit and contribute to growth (purpose). Applying the concept of Tamara, introduced by Boje, it is further illustrated how the grand narrative of entrepreneurship emphasizes capitalism, rationality and hierarchy in line with the epoch of industrialization, whilst the antenarrative of societal entrepreneurship gives priority to both premodern and postmodern discourses. The importance of community, of non-economic values, artisan craftsmanship is stressed, but also of how societal structures must be changed. The story of societal entrepreneurship thus de-centers human agency seeking to create instability as well as openings for enactment.
Traditionally, strategic messages were communicated through the power of text and financial measures. Over the years, with an increased use and evident impact of aesthetics, such as art, corporations began to incorporate imagery in strategic messages to strengthen their persuasive power. The addition of this creative use of art has also brought interest in strategy analysis to help uncover those hidden messages and identify marginal but living voices, in other words, antenarratives. In the role of a strategy spectator, understanding the signals for corporate strategic inflection prior to its occurrence is essential when calculating a company‘s future performance. These signals are never handed to you. They are hidden and cannot be identified by accepting the face-value of the dominant and apparent organizational voices, delivered through corporate documents. When a spectator is swooped into the organizational dominant storyline, he/she becomes part of the grand narrative and loses his/her critical perspective. Instead, strategic inflection signals should be identified through organizational antenarratives, uncovered in the deconstruction of an organization‘s strategy storytelling. Deconstruction of imagery, as a new complementary method to text and financial reporting embedded throughout corporate documents, helps strategy spectators understand a more abstract and less obvious side of strategy authors‘ strategic intentions. In the case of Motorola, this paper will demonstrate how imagery has been incorporated into organizational storytelling and how deconstruction could help strategy spectators make sense of and potentially anticipate strategic inflections.