Publication Details

Dawson, P. M. & Buchanan, D. (2006). Whose story is this? The selective retelling of organizational change. In J. Kennedy & L. Di Milia (Eds.), Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference Queensland, Australia: Central Queensland University.


Organizational change is a multi-authored process in which respondent and research narratives have causal as well as documentary and explanatory properties, shaping reputations and seeking to colour the nature and direction of future actions. We argue that academic case study narratives are too readily excluded from analysis and regarded as unproblematic solutions to logistical questions of data analysis. However, intervention narratives typically rely on respondent accounts that exhibit inconsistencies and are attributable to personal sense making, impression management, and political agendas. By drawing on processual and narrative approaches, we show how coherent narratives of change are achieved despite such inconsistencies through the related processes of audiencing and discoursing, and that research producers and consumers must therefore be ‘genre aware’.