The Role of Storytelling in the Innovation Process

10 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2018

See all articles by Natalya Sergeeva

Natalya Sergeeva

University College London

Anna Trifilova

University of Exeter

Date Written: December 2018


In this article we explore a key challenge in the innovation process around how an innovation might be articulated and communicated in organizations. Articulating innovative ideas, refining them, drawing others into the vision and gaining their support is a key part of this process. It is essentially a process of “storytelling”— constructing and sharing stories that reflect on personal experiences and involvement in the innovation process. This paper is based on managers’ own perceptions about storytelling throughout the innovation process. Twenty‐nine semi‐structured interviews were conducted with innovation managers and other senior managers from UK construction/infrastructure project‐based firms. The findings demonstrate that storytelling is essential for presenting innovative ideas and getting interest and support from others. It also plays a key role in motivating organizational members to innovate, and in promoting innovation success stories more widely. It is through storytelling that the image of firms as being and becoming “innovative” is constructed.

Suggested Citation

Sergeeva, Natalya and Trifilova, Anna, The Role of Storytelling in the Innovation Process (December 2018). Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 27, Issue 4, pp. 489-498, 2018. Available at SSRN: or

Natalya Sergeeva (Contact Author)

University College London

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Anna Trifilova

University of Exeter

Northcote House
The Queen's Drive
Exeter, EX4 4QJ
United Kingdom

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