A participant‐observation study of consulting in a large office supply firm of how consultants and organisational stakeholders perform stories to make sense of events and to enact change during their conversations is presented. A theory of organisation as a collective storytelling system in which precedent and future‐directed stories are shared, revised and interpreted to account for and to affect unfolding organisational changes is extended. It is illustrated how very terse stories, told in everyday conversations, require the listener silently to fill in major portions of the story line and story implications. Storytelling and story interpretation is a critical part of the consulting work done in complex organisations.
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