To read this content please select one of the options below:

Institutionalization of the OECD Grand-Narrative of Inclusivity (1983-2012)

Gal Zohar (The Sociology Department and the Federmann School of Public Policy and Government, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel)

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management

ISSN: 1746-5648

Article publication date: 26 July 2018

Issue publication date: 23 May 2019




The purpose of this paper is to explore the emplotment of organizational grand-narratives of a leading international organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The paper includes the reconstruction of the OECD’s inclusion approach as a prototype grand-narrative. Moreover, the main goal of this paper is understanding the reciprocal relationship between the organizational narratives and other organizational domains.


To study the structural process of emploting grand-narratives, which combines reciprocal dependencies across organizational domains, I have used process tracing, content analysis and interviews methodologies, for each domain. These methodologies were monitored by quantitative and qualitative analyses of the interactions among these domains. These methods allowed me to explore the interdependencies in the discursive and non-discursive ordering of institutional memory as a means for identifying the development of organizational narratives.


The findings of this paper confirm the reciprocal dynamics among and within three core organizational domains, narratives, organizational-epistemological settings and organizational products. These domains evolve constantly and concurrently in a three-phased process where a former organizational constellation is challenged, a consolidation takes place, and a new narrative is institutionalized. The context I chose to demonstrate this dynamic is the OECD evolving interactions between innerorganizational units and the organizational products (i.e. its activation policy recommendations), of the OECD post-Cold War inclusive approach (1989–2002).

Research limitations/implications

The importance and complexity of the OECD as a global trendsetting organization, and the findings of this single case study are significant for their implications on trends and processes found in other complex grand-narratives. The transferability of these results would require further analysis.


The originality of this paper is using a transnational dynamic organization such as the OECD as the organizational model for understanding how organizations undergo emplotment processes. Moreover, this article’s analytical framework provides a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between the constraining structures and micro-level interactions.



The author would like to thank David Levi-Faur, Michal Frenkel, Brenda Idstein and Ori Ziv.


Zohar, G. (2019), "Institutionalization of the OECD Grand-Narrative of Inclusivity (1983-2012)", Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 94-118.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles