Narrating the Organization : Dramas of Institutional Identity
Investigating the intricacy of the organization, this work argues that it is necessary to gather local information about organizational life and subject it to abstract and metaphorical interpretation. Using a narrative approach, the author employs literary devices to uncover the workings of organizations. She applys cultural metaphors to public administration in Sweden to demonstrate, for example, how the dynamics of a screenplay can illuminate the budget disputes of an organization. She shows how the interpretive description of organizational worlds works as a distinct genre of social analysis, and her study discloses the paradoxical nature of organizational life: we follow routine in order to change, and decentralize in order to control.
- Hardback | 242 pages
- 164 x 239 x 21.84mm | 538g
- 15 Apr 1997
- The University of Chicago Press
- University of Chicago Press
- Chicago, IL, United States
- 2nd ed.
Back cover copy
Using a narrative approach unique to organizational studies, Czarniawska employs literary devices to uncover the hidden workings of organizations. She shows how the interpretive description of organizational worlds works as a distinct genre of social analysis, and her investigations ultimately disclose the paradoxical nature of organizational life: we follow routine in order to change, and decentralize in order to control. By confronting such paradoxes, we bring crisis to existing institutions and enable them to change.
Table of contents
Acknowledgments Introduction, or Complex Phenomena Need Complex Metaphors 1: The Narrative in Culture Studies 2: On Dramas and Autobiographies in the Organizational Context 3: Interpretive Studies of Organizations: The Logic of Inquiry 4: Enacting Routines for Change 5: Serials: Innovation and Repetition 6: Talking Numbers: Preferences and Traditions 7: A Quest for Identity 8: Paradoxical Material 9: Changing Devices 10: Constructing Narratives Notes References Index