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Learning and innovation: A narrative analysis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stefanie ReissnerORCiD



Purpose – To investigate the relationship between learning, organizational change, organizational culture and narratives. The issues are explored on the basis of a case study of an automotive supplier based in North-East England where learning is deeply integrated in the daily routines of the company. Design/methodology/approach – The project reported upon in this paper was of qualitative and interpretive nature, using narrative cross-national comparative research. The main data collection method was in-depth interviewing with organizational members from all hierarchical levels. The interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and fed back to the interviewees. The data was analysed using grounded theory. Findings – The research concludes that organizational change, learning and culture are deeply interwoven. More specifically, the success of the case study company is based to a large extent on its people focus and unique learning culture, which are reflected in, separable from and sustained by the prevailing organizational narratives. Research limitations/implications – The generalizability of case studies is limited, but opens up new questions to be explored by further research into the relationship of organizational change, learning, culture and narratives. Practical implications – Organizational narratives are a powerful tool for managers to examine cultural aspects within the firm, which should be used more widely. Originality/value – The paper raises interesting issues for management researchers, challenging some previously taken for granted assumptions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Reissner SC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Organizational Change Management

Year: 2005

Volume: 18

Issue: 5

Pages: 482-494

Date deposited: 04/10/2010

ISSN (print): 0953-4814

ISSN (electronic): 1758-7816

Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1108/09534810510614968


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