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Our organizations were never disenchanted: Enchantment by design narratives vs enchantment by emergence

David M. Boje (Management Department, New Mexico State University, Las Cruses, New Mexico, USA)
Ken Baskin (Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 5 July 2011

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a typology of enchantment approaches that are related to storytelling practices in organizations: enchantment by design and enchantment by emergence.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors explore this enchantment framework in a storytelling drawing on examples of living storied spaces and narratives from hospital studies.

Findings

This essay asserts three aspects about enchantment: that mainstream organizational narrative, rooted in classical structuralism and modernity, seems intent on disenchanting life within them. Second, despite such narratives, organizations, such as hospitals the authors studied, were never disenchanted because enchantment resides in many living storied spaces. Finally, many forms of “enchantment” and “disenchantment” are taking place in organization action and its storytelling.

Practical implications

The paper equips managers with a deeper understanding of how storytelling in organizations can encourage enchantment or disenchantment within the organization and in its relations with their environments (community, nature, humanity).

Originality/value

The value of the paper lies in its theoretical contributions, integrating enchantment‐disenchantment perspectives with a theory of storytelling.

Keywords

Citation

Boje, D.M. and Baskin, K. (2011), "Our organizations were never disenchanted: Enchantment by design narratives vs enchantment by emergence", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 411-426. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534811111144593

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited