Myths, stories, and folklore are part of the fabric and life of all organizations, enabling us to understand, identify, and communicate the character of the organization - its ambitions, conflicts, and peculiarities. Drawing on extensive fieldwork of storytelling in five organizations, this book argues that stories open valuable windows into the emotional and symbolic lives of organizations. By collecting stoires in different organizations, by listening and comparing different accounts, by investigating how narratives are constructed around specific events, by examining which events in an organization's history generate stories and which ones fail to do so, researchers can gain access to deeper organizational realities, closely linked to their members' experiences. In this way, stories enable researchers to study organizational politics, culture, and change in uniquely
illuminating ways, revealing how wider organizational issues are viewed, commented upon, and worked upon by their members.
The book's first part develops the theory of storytelling by building on various approaches, including narrative, folkloric, ethnographic, symbolic, social constructionist, and psychoanalytic, while the second offers a set of four studies which make use of stories in exploring particular aspects of organizational life.
`informative, well-written, well-researched and a pleasure to read' O.S. Vol.22, No.2, 2001
About the Author:
Yiannis Gabriel is a lecturer at The Management School, University of Bath. He is currently engaged in a study of organizational folklore, collecting, classifying, and interpreting a large number of organizational myths and stories. He is the author of Freud and Society (Routledge, 1983),
Working Lives in Catering (Routledge, 1988), and joint author of Organizing and Organizations (Sage, 1993), The Unmanageable Consumer (Sage, 1995), and Experiencing Organizations (Sage, 1996). He has also written numerous articles that bring together his research interests in psychoanalytic theory
and organization studies. He is Joint Editor of Management Learning.