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Liberation through narrativity: A case of organization reconstruction through strategic storytelling

Abstract : The process perspective of organizations is encouraging us to see organizations as constantly in the process of “becoming”. Such a view challenges many of our assumptions about organizational change, encouraging us to see change as natural and the norm. This paper takes the proposition that the organization is constantly being constituted by communication as its starting point to examine the ebb and flow of organizational power and control during a change initiative. Based on a case study of a call center, we analyze how a CEO constructed and mobilized narratives to institute his form of ‘liberation management’ to free his company from top-down control. The main contribution of this empirical research lies with the model of narrative mechanisms that emerged from the data analysis. Because this conceptual model gives sense to what usually appears at first sight as discursive disorder – a cacophony of change narratives, we see our contributions to the literature as twofold. Firstly, by clearly identifying three different ‘narratives in the making’ – the initial, counter and corrective narratives adopted by internal stakeholders as they engage with the liberation management project, we elaborate on the narrative mechanisms that lie at the meso level of discursive struggles during change. In doing so we extend Boje’s (2010) triad of narrativity by providing evidence of how prospective narratives are incorporated into the narrativity associated with organizational change. Secondly, our model specifies the role communication plays in change implementation and context definition and confirms the utility of the ‘organizational becoming’ and CCO perspectives of organizing and advances knowledge in these areas in relation to innovation and change.
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https://hal-audencia.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01158130
Contributor : Nicolas Arnaud <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 29, 2015 - 4:08:50 PM
Last modification on : Friday, October 28, 2016 - 4:32:57 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01158130, version 1

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Nicolas Arnaud, Colleen Mills, Céline Legrand. Liberation through narrativity: A case of organization reconstruction through strategic storytelling. Management international, HEC Montréal, 2016, 20 (2), pp.107-118. ⟨hal-01158130⟩

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