Storytelling in Management Practice: Dynamics and Implications

1st Edition

Stefanie Reissner, Victoria Pagan

Published May 24, 2013
Reference - 190 Pages - 4 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780415644334 - CAT# Y143035
Series: Routledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society


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Since the early 2000s, storytelling as a means of managerial communication has been increasingly advocated, with a focus on the management practices of leadership, change and organizational culture. Most research on storytelling in management practice derives from practitioner experience, but little is known about the specific dynamics behind storytelling as a tool for managerial communication.

This book derives from one of the first research studies into storytelling in management practice, which sought to evaluate the assumed, but not necessarily proven, effectiveness of storytelling as a management tool. Building on existing theories of narrative and storytelling in organizations, the book explores how managers use storytelling in their daily practice, revealing that it can be employed both, purposively - like a tool, and perceptively - spontaneously and intuitively. The book explains that storytelling has different functions in management practice at different levels of the organization, such as:

  • Creating direction for the organization
  • Translating strategic messages into operational ones and supporting the professional development of staff
  • Shaping the organization’s social fabric through the sharing of personal stories

Aided by a wealth of interviews and case studies, Storytelling in Management Practice reveals an analysis of the dynamic relationship between story, storyteller, audience and organizational context. As such, it will be useful for students and researchers working across a variety of sub-disciplines, including: leadership, organizational behaviour and business communication.

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