Article Information

DRAMATIC, UNMANAGED AND STORYTELLING: ORGANIZATIONS THROUGH NARRATIVE ANALYSIS

Elena Gudova (lena.a.gudova@gmail.com)

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Citation: Gudova E. (2017) Dramatichnaya, neupravlyayemaya i povestvuyushchaya: organizatsiya skvoz' prizmu narrativnogo analiza [Dramatic, unmanaged and storytelling: organizations through narrative analysis]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 20(3): 50–73 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2017.20.3.3

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Abstract. The current approach to organizations as stable and static entities often considers changes as a transition from less favourable to more favourable stages and conditions. However if one considers that organizations are process-oriented and experience continuous change, organizational boundaries will immediately become questioned, and the researcher will have a good reason to draw for analysis of discourse, ethnomethodology, drama, and stories. Stories and narratives are multiple, contextual, and highly dependent both on the content and the narrator and the process of narration.

This article investigates how narrative analysis (also called “storytelling”) can methodologically and meaningfully enrich the existing understanding and idea of organizations. Through the analysis and interpretation of the history of the existence of a post office the concepts of organizational “drama” by B. Czarniawska, “unmanaged organization” by Y. Gabriel and “storytelling organization” by D. Boje are applied to the analysis and interpretation of one remote postal office existence.

Narratives allow revealing the “inner kitchen” and “insights” of the organization and trace the actions of participants at the micro-level in addition to attention to events, senses and feelings of heroes and the narrator. The proposed story uncovers and reflects the existing conflicts between the center and the periphery, the administration and the production, the formal — universal and the informal — local.

Keywords: narrative analysis, storytelling, organizational drama, unmanaged organization, storytelling organization

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