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Organisationer berättar: Narrativitet som resurs i strategisk kommunikation
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Swedish Language. Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för nordiska språk.
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
When Organizations Tell Stories : Narrativity as a Resource in Strategic Communication (English)
Abstract [en]

The subject of this thesis is the communicative practice of strategic storytelling. The aim of the study is to analyse how storytelling is used and handled by organizations to reach comprehensive organizational goals. Within the all-embracing cultural context of modern Western society, here discussed through the concept of the new economy, strategic storytelling is explored in four areas: organizational discourses of strategic storytelling, narrativity as a resource to create and express values connected to the organization, storytelling as a practice of recontextualization and storytelling as an interactive tool. The data consists mainly of strategic stories but also of interviews, observations and documents collected from four Swedish organizations: two companies, a municipality and a congregation of the Church of Sweden. Applying a narratological, social semiotic and dialogical perspective the study investigates how narrativity is used by organizations as a resource to create identification and relations with and among stakeholders.

The analyses in the study indicate that meaning is created in different layers. The structural resources of stories are used in various combinations to make organizations appear in specific ways in different situations. Furthermore, the picture of the organization is shaped not only by the stories themselves but also by the very fact that the organization is using storytelling. The potential of recontextualization that is characteristic of narratives is shown to be essential in offering possibilities of identification and a sense of community through storytelling. Furthermore, the fact that a story is told by an individual is shown to play a crucial role in creating a personalized picture of the organization.

In strategic storytelling the interpersonal function seems to dominate over the ideational. This is a major finding of the analysis. More specifically, ideation is used as a tool to create interpersonal relations. The study also indicates that strategic storytelling comes with different possibilities and complications depending on what kind of organization is using it. Moreover, it is proposed that narrative as a form of communication fits perfectly within the broader cultural context of the new economy, characterized by commercialization, informalization, individualization and management practices founded on the strategic use of values.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för nordiska språk , 2014. , 291 p.
Skrifter / utgivna av Institutionen för nordiska språk vid Uppsala universitet, ISSN 0083-4661 ; 90Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 102
Keyword [en]
narrativity, narrative, story, storytelling, recontextualisation, remediation, intertextuality
Keyword [sv]
narrativitet, berättelse, strategiskt berättande, storytelling, rekontextualisering, remediering, intertextualitet
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-25431ISBN: 978-91-506-2429-8 (print)OAI: diva2:770645
Public defence
2014-12-12, MA 636, Alfred Nobels allé 7 (Flemingsberg), Huddinge, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-12-11 Created: 2014-12-11 Last updated: 2014-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Rehnberg, Hanna Sofia
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