Recruiting who? A narrative approach to studying organisational change

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    In recent decades, a predominant approach to understanding and implementing organizational change is that of sense-making and sense-giving (Weick 1995, 2000, 2011), i.e. interpreting the past and telling new stories about the future. However, who must interpret and tell the stories for change to be successful? Often we assume this is someone formally in charge, but studies suggest that frequently change agents are organizational members who carry out special functions making them unofficial leaders in the change process (Jacobsen 2012). This presentation will focus on a process involving several change agents in a Danish bank. The analysis shows how a policy of transparency in recruitment is negotiated by middle managers, and how this negotiation leads to a number of stories that, while being different, still coalesce to form a shared understanding of the preferred future recruitment processes. Thus, changes to recruitment practices in the bank seem to be negotiated rather than dictated.The presentation will analyse ten semi-structured interviews using the framework of (counter)-narrative (Bamberg & Andrews 2004; Frandsen et al. 2017). Performing stories is integral to organizational members’ sense-making (Boje 1995), and it is among other things through stories the struggle over meanings, values and identities takes place (Humphreys & Brown 2002). Here, (counter-)narrative analysis is particularly useful as it allows us to see that through dialogue shared storylines may still emerge, despite differences in individual stories, and what counts as master and counter narratives is highly dependent on context.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication dateNov 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
    EventNORDISCO : 5th Nordic Interdisciplinary Conference on Discourse and Interaction - Århus Universitet, Århus, Denmark
    Duration: 21 Nov 201823 Nov 2018


    LocationÅrhus Universitet
    Internet address


    • narrative
    • recruitment
    • counter-narrative
    • organisation
    • interview


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