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Managing to beat death: the narrative construction process

Hans Hansen (Management, Rawls College of Business, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 5 July 2011

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1033

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce narrative construction, a method by which participants produce a narrative to make sense of their organizational context, as well as strategically guide action and decision making. While narrative theory has long‐held that people construct narratives to make sense of, and guide, their experience, narrative construction here entails a deliberate and strategic approach to narrative theory.

Design/methodology/approach

This is part of an ethnonarrative approach that includes both a constructionist and interpretive narrative and ethnographic methodology.

Findings

Narrative construction has research implications for an ethnomethodology of social construction and empirical observation of narrative enactment. There are practical implications for enabling change and building highly‐coordinated organizations.

Originality/value

Narrative construction offers a new qualitative methodology and extends ethnonarrative research. The research setting, a death penalty defense team, is also unique. It also moves narrative theory beyond an interpretive device to a constructionist strategy.

Keywords

Citation

Hansen, H. (2011), "Managing to beat death: the narrative construction process", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 442-463. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534811111144610

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited