Narrative analysis of Dale Carnegie's How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Mario Hayek (Texas A&M University–Commerce, Commerce, Texas, USA)
Milorad M. Novicevic (Management Department, University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi, USA)
M. Ronald Buckley (Division of Management, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA)
Russell W. Clayton (University of North Carolina at Asheville, Asheville, North Carolina, USA)
Foster Roberts (University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi, USA)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Publication date: 22 June 2012



The purpose of this paper is to examine how one of Dale Carnegie's historically best selling self‐help books, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, resonates with the contemporary conceptualization of psychological capital (PsyCap).


The authors use a narrative historical interpretation to analyze Dale Carnegie's book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. Initially, two of the co‐authors independently identified passages mirroring each of the four PsyCap capacities, while in the final stage a consensus on the interpretation was reached with the remaining co‐authors.


The components of the PsyCap construct resonate well with the prescriptions that Carnegie narrated and outlined in his best selling book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study should be interpreted with a recognition that an alternative critical approach to narrative analysis could have been conducted based on the narrative logic of social power structure.


This paper is unique in placing an emphasis on the insights researchers and practitioners alike can gain by re‐evaluating the self‐help books from the past.



Hayek, M., Novicevic, M., Buckley, M., Clayton, R. and Roberts, F. (2012), "Narrative analysis of Dale Carnegie's How to Stop Worrying and Start Living", Journal of Management History, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 268-284.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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