“ENTANGLEMENTS OF STORYTELLING AND POWER IN THE ENACTMENT OF ORGANIZATIONAL SUBJECTIVITY”

August 9, 2017

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Published in 2017

Professor MSO Kenneth Jørgensen of Organizational Learning at the Department of Business and Management at Aalborg University in Denmark, shared the results of one of his most recent papers with the faculty members: "Entanglements of Storytelling and Power in the Enactment of Organizational Subjectivity".

The paper tries to construct "a storytelling framework for understanding how people enact their subjectivities in organizations".

Professor Jørgensen considers storytelling as the way people express themselves. Stories integrate knowledge, emotions and intentions and are as such an important aspect of living and acting together with other people.

According to him, the most important aspect of his research is "the attempt to bring in the literature of organizational storytelling and power together to try to combine and explain the interaction between storytelling and power in organizations".

The invited professor assures that "there is a kind of conflict between storytelling in organizations and power, because organizations try to guide people in certain direction. Storytelling is the possibility of enacting and creating something that is new in organizations".

By means of analyzing some practical examples of enacting subjectivity in different organizational areas, the research found that "together, power and storytelling, provide a critical approach where organizations are portrayed as vibrant, dynamic and living spaces where multiple subjectivities are created and enacted in every moment."

Nowadays organizational spaces are restricted and only admit particular subjectivities. This results in that the play of power constrains storytelling. This can also affect the communication between the organization and the community holders, because sometimes one can try to silent the other.

The research in how organizational spaces are configured "can be used for performing power analyses in organization with the purpose of questioning the criteria for being included and excluded and thus for being actors in the first place. It can also be used in creative ways for enabling for example how organizational subjects can refuse who they are and instead work on how they can become otherwise".

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