Stories in Organizations

  • Karin Thier
Part of the Management for Professionals book series (MANAGPROF)


This chapter presents a few general ideas about the role of stories in organizations. The main general features of a story are analyzed as well as different types of organizational forms like resurrections stories, transformation stories, inspiring stories and stories about customers and products. Subsequently the main effects of stories are pointed out such as: show the “unofficial” culture of an organization, provide guidelines and criteria for important situations, indicate and support change processes, and help with interpreting the past and describing the future.


  1. Boje, D. M. (1991). Consulting and change in the storytelling organisation. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 4(3), 7–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boje, D. M. (1994). Organizational storytelling. The struggles of pre-modern; modern and post-modern organizational learning discourses. Management Learning, 25, 433–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Czariniawska, B. (1998). A narrative approach to organizations studies. Thousand Oaks: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Denning, S. (2001). The springboard: How storytelling ignites action in knowledge-era organizations. Woburn: Butterworth-Heinemann.Google Scholar
  5. Eco, U. (1983). Reflections on the name of the rose. London: Minerva.Google Scholar
  6. Erlach, C., & Thier, K. (2004). Mit Geschichten implizites Wissen in Organisationen heben. In B. Wyssusek (Ed.), Wissensmanagement komplex: Perspektiven und soziale Praxis (pp. 207–226). Berlin: Schmidt.Google Scholar
  7. Ettl-Huber, S. (2014). Storytelling in der Organisationskommunikation. Theoretische und empirische Befunde. Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fog, K., et al. (2010). Storytelling. Branding in practis. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  9. Martin, J., Feldman, M., Hatch, M., & Sitkin, S. (1983). The uniqueness paradox in organizational stories. Administrative Science Quarterly, 28, 438–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mitroff, I. I. (1983). Stakeholders of the organizaional mind. Toward a new view of organizational policy making. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  11. Nymark, S. R. (2000). Organizational storytelling. Creating enduring values in a high-tech company. Hinnerup: Ankerhus.Google Scholar
  12. Orr, J. E. (1996). Talking about machines. An ethnography of a modern job. New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Pennington, N., & Hastie, R. (1992). Explaining the evidence: Testing the story model for juror decision making. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 182–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Reinmann-Rothmeier, G., & Vohle, F. (2001). Was Schiedsrichter, Manager und Rotkäppchen gemeinsam haben: Mit Geschichten Wissen managen. Zeitschrift für Führung und Organisation, 5, S. 293–S. 300.Google Scholar
  15. Sammer, P. (2014). Storytelling. Die Zukunft von PR und Marketing. Köln: O’Reilly.Google Scholar
  16. Schank, R. C. (1990). Tell me a story. A new look at real and artificial memory. New York: Collier Macmillan.Google Scholar
  17. Swart, C. (2013). Re-authoring the world. The narrative lens and practices for organisations, communities and individuals. Randburg: Knowres Publishing.Google Scholar
  18. Vance, C. M. (1987). A comparative study on the use of humor in the design of instruction. Instructional Science, 16, 79–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in organizations. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Wilkins, A. L. (1983). Organizational stories al symbols which control the organization. In L. R. Pondy, P. J. Frost, G. Morgan, & T. C. Dandridge (Eds.), Organizational symbolism (pp. 69–92). Greenwich, Connecticut: Jai Press.Google Scholar
  21. Wilkins, A. L. (1984). The creation of company cultures: The role of stories and human resource systems. Human Resource Management, 23(1), 41–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. zur Bonsen, M. (2000). Eine neue Geschichte erzählen: Spirit, Mythen, Großgruppen-Interventionen und liturgische Systeme. In: Königswieser, R. & Keil M. (Hg.) Das Feuer großer Gruppen. Konzepte, Designs, Praxisbeispiele für Großveranstaltungen (S. 85–S. 99). Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karin Thier
    • 1
  1. 1.NARRATA ConsultBad BergzabernGermany

Personalised recommendations