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Being Entrepreneurial in Your Storytelling: An Institutional Tale

40 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2013 Last revised: 7 Feb 2014

Lianne M. Lefsrud

University of Alberta - Faculty of Engineering

P. Devereaux Jennings

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Date Written: November 1, 2013

Abstract

Stories help us make sense of the world around us and our role in it, including defining ‘success’. Stories reflect society and culture at large, but are also very context-specific; they involve particular individuals and organizations. Thus, stories are a powerful mechanism linking the society and the organization. We offer an institutional view of storytelling’s role in small businesses and entrepreneurial endeavors. In academic vernacular, from our institutional viewpoint, we examine the types of organizational stories told, their sources and processes of creation, along with their direct and indirect effects. In practical terms: what stories are told, how, why, and with what effect? To do so, we rely primarily on research and examples from organization theory, strategy and entrepreneurship, focusing on new and small ventures where possible. In our concluding discussion, we suggest potential directions for researchers and possible storytelling improvements for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Keywords: Storytelling, entrepreneurship, small business, institutional theory

Suggested Citation

Lefsrud, Lianne M. and Jennings, P. Devereaux, Being Entrepreneurial in Your Storytelling: An Institutional Tale (November 1, 2013). Ross School of Business Paper No. 1207. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2340100 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2340100

Lianne M. Lefsrud (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Faculty of Engineering ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R3
Canada

P. Devereaux Jennings

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

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