This paper aims to problematize the idea that organizations can be understood as written text. Most of the work done in narrative analysis for organizational studies (OS) relies on an interpretation of narrative which is anchored to the formalist/structuralist tradition. The aim is to review the exiting literature and propose an alternative understanding of the phenomena. In particular, the paper will argue that text analysis should be complemented with analysis of the experience of the people involved in the studied processes. The reductionist character of structural analysis cannot fit the complexity and uniqueness of the everyday life in organizations.
The approach is ethnographic research methodology. Data were collected during long unstructured interviews and daily informal conversations. Brochures, newsletter publications from the bank and archival information were also analyzed.
Storytelling in the bank studied shows a constant movement between two poles: the stabilizing forms of social determinacy and the destabilizing forms of experience.
To incorporate the dimension of experience into narrative research for OS and bringing the phenomenological sensitivity of the studies of everyday life into the management field.
Linda Musacchio Adorisio, A. (2008), "Living among stories: everyday life at a South Western bank", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 610-621. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534810810903243Download as .RIS
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