Document Type

Journal Article


Organisational change stories are often constructed around a linear series of 'successful' events that serve to show the company in a positive light to any interested external party. These stories of company success sanitize complex change processes and offer data for change experts to formulate neat linear prescriptions on how to best manage change. This article criticizes this position and argues that change is a far more dynamic political process consisting of competing histories and ongoing multiple change narratives which may vie for dominance in seeking to be the change story. A central aim is to identify and unpack narratives of change in order to highlight a number of theoretical and methodological implications for management research. It is argued that post-hoc rationalized stories should not be used as a knowledge base for prescriptive lessons or theoretical developments, nor should research data simply be presented as a single authentic story of change.