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Persuasive histories: Decentering, recentering and the emotional crafting of the past

Can‐Seng Ooi (Copenhagen Business School, Department of International Economics and Management, Frederiksberg, Denmark)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 1 December 2002



This predominantly theoretical paper concentrates on the strategic presentation of history. The dynamics of re‐presenting the past is framed as the simultaneous processes of decentering and recentering. It shows that a postmodern epistemology is relevant in understanding the strategic use of history but a postmodern approach concentrates only on the production of historical accounts. The negotiated reception of history has to be considered too. The discussions draw inspirations from organizational studies, heritage studies and Meštrovic’s post‐emotionalism. This article argues that the simultaneous crafting of audiences’ thoughts, experiences and emotions is central in the effective communication of history. This paper also points out the consequences of its arguments for organizational research and theories.



Ooi, C. (2002), "Persuasive histories: Decentering, recentering and the emotional crafting of the past", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 15 No. 6, pp. 606-621.




Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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