1st Edition

Stories of Life in the Workplace
An Open Architecture for Organizational Narratology

ISBN 9780415539999
Published March 1, 2012 by Routledge
208 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

Addressing both renowned theories and standard applications, Stories of Life in the Workplace explains how stories affect human practices and organizational life. Authors Larry Browning and George H. Morris explore how we experience, interpret, and personalize narrative stories in our everyday lives, and how these communicative acts impact our social aims and interactions. In pushing the boundaries of how we perceive narrative and organization, the authors include stories that are broadly applicable across all concepts and experiences.

With a perception of narrative and its organizational application, chapters focus on areas such as pedagogy, therapy, project management, strategic planning, public communication, and organizational culture. Readers will learn to:

    • differentiate and gain an in-depth understanding of perspectives from varying narrators;
    • recognize how stories are constructed and used in organizations, and modify the stories they tell;
    • view stories as a means to promote an open exchange of creativity.

By integrating a range of theories and practices, Browning and Morris write for an audience of narrative novices and scholars alike. With a distinctive approach and original insight, Stories of Life in the Workplace shows how individuality, developing culture, and the psychology of the self are constructed with language—and how the acceptance of one’s self is accomplished by reaffirming and rearranging one’s story.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Narrative Appreciation

Chapter Two: An Open Architecture For Organizational Narratology

Chapter Three: Action, Motivation and Moral Outcome

Chapter Four: Sequence and Locale

Chapter Five: Character and Identity

Chapter Six: Interest And Memory

Chapter Seven: The Beauty of Narratives in the Workplace

Chapter Eight: Complexity and Control

Chapter Nine: Representing Narrative Realities

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Larry Browning is a Professor at the College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin and adjunct Professor of Management, Bodø Graduate School of Business at the University of Nordland, Norway. His studies include structures in organizations as evidenced by lists and stories, information-communication technology and narratives, cooperation and competition in organizations, and grounded theory as a research strategy.


G. H. Morris is a Professor at California State University San Marcos. He is a conversation analyst and communication theorist interested in how people align with each other in everyday talk, organizational discourse, and psychotherapy.


'Recommended. Structuring the discussion around aspects of narrative such as action, motivation, and moral outcome, the authors introduce, chapter by chapter, a variety of workplace narratives and then explore related theory…the relaxed, good-natured tone of the book is refreshing, and readers will encounter many gems of information well worth pondering. Particularly useful are cautions against reading overarching organizational narratives as ultimate truth and overvaluing a polyglot approach to sense making in organizations.'CHOICE, C.E. O’Neill, New Mexico State University at Alamogordo