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Storytelling in OrganizationsFacts, Fictions, and Fantasies$
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Yiannis Gabriel

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198290957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198290957.001.0001

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Using Stories in Organizational Research

Using Stories in Organizational Research

(p.135) Chapter 6 Using Stories in Organizational Research
Storytelling in Organizations

Yiannis Gabriel

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the use of stories in organizational research. It introduces some general issues of methodology, explaining how stories may be generated, analysed, and classified. This chapter argues that researchers who want to use stories as a research instrument must be prepared to sacrifice at least temporarily some of the core values of their craft and adopt instead a rather alien attitude towards their subjects and their texts. They must rid themselves of the assumption that quality data must be objective, reliable, and accurate and must be prepared to engage personally with the emotions and the meanings that reside in the text. Faced with distortions and ambiguities, researchers must resist the temptation of ‘setting the record straight’. At the same time, researchers must not lose sight of the relation between stories and facts: facts are not dissolved by stories but re-created through them.

Keywords:   stories, organizational research, research instruments, facts

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