Narrative Patterns: the perils and possibilities of using story in organisations

Stories in organisations reveal patterns of culture, behaviour and understanding in a different and, frequently more effective way than interviews and questionnaire based approaches. Narrative techniques both reveal the patterns of an organisation and are in turn the means by which it can be patterned. Narrative is a powerful tool within organisations, but is not susceptible to the engineering approaches that have dominated management practice in the last few decades. Managers need to create an environment in which the patterns of narrative meaning and the patterning capability of narrative interventions are managed in the way a gardener manages a garden, not the way an engineer designs a machine.

 

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