A Universe of Stories: Mobilizing Narrative Practices During Transformative Change

Forthcoming in Strategic Management Journal, Special Issue on “Strategy Processes and Practices: Dialogues and Intersections”

HEC Paris Research Paper No. SPE-2017-1238

44 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2017 Last revised: 29 Nov 2017

See all articles by Elena Dalpiaz

Elena Dalpiaz

Imperial College London

Giada Di Stefano

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Date Written: September 25, 2017

Abstract

Constructing narratives of transformative change is an important but challenging practice through which strategy makers attempt to influence acceptance of an ongoing transformation. To understand whether and how strategy makers can construct a steady influx of captivating narratives of transformative change, we analyzed how one noted strategy maker assisted the successful transformation of his organization over three decades by orchestrating the production of change narratives. Our analysis reveals that the strategy maker constructed and reconstructed meanings of change over time using three sets of distinct but interconnected narrative practices. We develop a dynamic model linking the simultaneous mobilization of these practices to strategy makers’ ability to harness the persistent tension between novelty and familiarity in a transformative change, and thereby win endorsement from key audiences.

Keywords: Strategic Change, Narrative, Strategy as Practice, Storytelling, Reflection

JEL Classification: M1, M13, M14, O3, O33

Suggested Citation

Dalpiaz, Elena and Di Stefano, Giada, A Universe of Stories: Mobilizing Narrative Practices During Transformative Change (September 25, 2017). Forthcoming in Strategic Management Journal, Special Issue on “Strategy Processes and Practices: Dialogues and Intersections”; HEC Paris Research Paper No. SPE-2017-1238. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3042489

Elena Dalpiaz

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Giada Di Stefano (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.unibocconi.eu/giadadistefano/

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