External guest speakers, Curse or Blessing?: A study on external guest speakers and the personal fables they carry out, to see if, and mainly how, they can establish collective sense-making and centring within an organizational context.
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Purpose The purpose of the paper is to explain how executives can make effective use of fables provided by external guest speakers to create a situation of collective sense-making and centring, based on the story used in a policy making context of a private, Dutch for-profit organization ( fictitiously called Con-Zelo recruitment agency in this article ).
Design/methodology/approach The approach involved collecting and analyzing the ‘Swimming for gold’ fable as part of seven months phenomenological and symbolic study, to confirm organizational sense, identify categorized themes and analyze the process of creation. In which co-author Volkers, as a former member, had access to the organization and familiarity with the organization its history.
Findings The findings emphasize that both fables and myths can in fact establish organizational sense and centring based on categorized themes. Most important is that fables shared by an external guest speaker should not be considered as a singular event, but as start of a process; a true vehicle for collective sense-making and centring. Organizations can then do so through changes and alignment in all five types of cultural artifacts.
Originality/value This paper provides additional value by bridging the gap between theory and practice. Besides illustrating that fables do in fact contain the power to promote a particular point of view, specific meaning and or values and therewith establish organizational sense and centring. This study includes the documentation and cultural analysis of the fable, and illustrates the fable as a vehicle or process for collective sense-making and centring. Furthermore, the suggested fable-stretching model is a so called ‘soup-to-nuts’ approach that can serve as a blue-print for organizational researchers and change agents interested in using external guest speakers and the personal fables they carry out, to establish collective sense-making and centring within an organizational context.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
corporate storytelling, remythologizing, corporate culture, sense-making, centring, guest-speakers, fable vs. myth.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-19701OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-19701DiVA: diva2:563084
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law