Discourse and Audience

Organizational Change as Multi-Story Process

David Buchanan, Patrick Mark Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

133 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article is critical of monological research accounts that fail to accommodate polyvocal narratives of organizational change, calling for more fully informed case studies that combine elements of a narrative approach with processual/contextual analysis. We illustrate how contrasting versions of the same change event by different stakeholders and by the same stakeholder for different audiences, raise theoretical and methodological issues in the analysis and presentation of data on organizational change. Our argument is that research narratives (that seek to develop understanding of change processes) are necessarily selective and sieved through particular discourses that represent different ways of engaging in research. They are authored in a particular genre and written to influence target audiences who become active co-creators of meaning. Organizational change viewed from this perspective is a multi-story process, in which theoretical accounts and guides to practice are authored consistent with pre-selected narrative styles. These, in turn, are purposefully chosen to influence target audiences, but this subjective crafting is often hidden behind a cloak of putative objectivity in the written and oral presentations of academic research findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-686
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Volume44
Issue number5
Early online date19 Feb 2007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • narrative approach
  • middle managers
  • politics
  • inquiry
  • sensemaking
  • technology
  • stories
  • science
  • sense
  • tales

Cite this

Discourse and Audience : Organizational Change as Multi-Story Process. / Buchanan, David; Dawson, Patrick Mark.

In: Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 44, No. 5, 07.2007, p. 669-686.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Buchanan, David ; Dawson, Patrick Mark. / Discourse and Audience : Organizational Change as Multi-Story Process. In: Journal of Management Studies. 2007 ; Vol. 44, No. 5. pp. 669-686.
@article{1e3d37fed1ba46fc97d8d7cb629125cf,
title = "Discourse and Audience: Organizational Change as Multi-Story Process",
abstract = "This article is critical of monological research accounts that fail to accommodate polyvocal narratives of organizational change, calling for more fully informed case studies that combine elements of a narrative approach with processual/contextual analysis. We illustrate how contrasting versions of the same change event by different stakeholders and by the same stakeholder for different audiences, raise theoretical and methodological issues in the analysis and presentation of data on organizational change. Our argument is that research narratives (that seek to develop understanding of change processes) are necessarily selective and sieved through particular discourses that represent different ways of engaging in research. They are authored in a particular genre and written to influence target audiences who become active co-creators of meaning. Organizational change viewed from this perspective is a multi-story process, in which theoretical accounts and guides to practice are authored consistent with pre-selected narrative styles. These, in turn, are purposefully chosen to influence target audiences, but this subjective crafting is often hidden behind a cloak of putative objectivity in the written and oral presentations of academic research findings.",
keywords = "narrative approach, middle managers, politics, inquiry, sensemaking, technology, stories, science, sense, tales",
author = "David Buchanan and Dawson, {Patrick Mark}",
year = "2007",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1111/J.1467-6486.2006.00669.X",
language = "English",
volume = "44",
pages = "669--686",
journal = "Journal of Management Studies",
issn = "0022-2380",
publisher = "Wiley",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Discourse and Audience

T2 - Organizational Change as Multi-Story Process

AU - Buchanan, David

AU - Dawson, Patrick Mark

PY - 2007/7

Y1 - 2007/7

N2 - This article is critical of monological research accounts that fail to accommodate polyvocal narratives of organizational change, calling for more fully informed case studies that combine elements of a narrative approach with processual/contextual analysis. We illustrate how contrasting versions of the same change event by different stakeholders and by the same stakeholder for different audiences, raise theoretical and methodological issues in the analysis and presentation of data on organizational change. Our argument is that research narratives (that seek to develop understanding of change processes) are necessarily selective and sieved through particular discourses that represent different ways of engaging in research. They are authored in a particular genre and written to influence target audiences who become active co-creators of meaning. Organizational change viewed from this perspective is a multi-story process, in which theoretical accounts and guides to practice are authored consistent with pre-selected narrative styles. These, in turn, are purposefully chosen to influence target audiences, but this subjective crafting is often hidden behind a cloak of putative objectivity in the written and oral presentations of academic research findings.

AB - This article is critical of monological research accounts that fail to accommodate polyvocal narratives of organizational change, calling for more fully informed case studies that combine elements of a narrative approach with processual/contextual analysis. We illustrate how contrasting versions of the same change event by different stakeholders and by the same stakeholder for different audiences, raise theoretical and methodological issues in the analysis and presentation of data on organizational change. Our argument is that research narratives (that seek to develop understanding of change processes) are necessarily selective and sieved through particular discourses that represent different ways of engaging in research. They are authored in a particular genre and written to influence target audiences who become active co-creators of meaning. Organizational change viewed from this perspective is a multi-story process, in which theoretical accounts and guides to practice are authored consistent with pre-selected narrative styles. These, in turn, are purposefully chosen to influence target audiences, but this subjective crafting is often hidden behind a cloak of putative objectivity in the written and oral presentations of academic research findings.

KW - narrative approach

KW - middle managers

KW - politics

KW - inquiry

KW - sensemaking

KW - technology

KW - stories

KW - science

KW - sense

KW - tales

U2 - 10.1111/J.1467-6486.2006.00669.X

DO - 10.1111/J.1467-6486.2006.00669.X

M3 - Article

VL - 44

SP - 669

EP - 686

JO - Journal of Management Studies

JF - Journal of Management Studies

SN - 0022-2380

IS - 5

ER -