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From spinning yarns to organizational impact: Storytelling in management practice

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stefanie ReissnerORCiD, Dr Victoria PaganORCiD



This developmental paper explores two differing conceptualizations and manifestations of storytelling in management practice: (1) intuitive and (2) intentional. It derives from one of the first empirical studies into storytelling in management practice that examines calls in the practitioner and semi-academic literature for greater use of storytelling by managers. Our findings are such: intuitive storytelling happens in everyday interaction between organizational actors and is unplanned, unconscious and informal; and intentional storytelling is a vehicle through which managers communicate in a planned and purposive manner. While both manifestations can achieve similar outcomes in terms of listener response, the difference between them is the extent to which managers are aware of storytelling within their own communication practice and to which they consciously choose to tell a story to create a certain organizational impact.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Reissner SC, Pagan VK

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: British Academy of Management Conference

Year of Conference: 2012

Date deposited: 24/10/2014

Publisher: British Academy of Management