Call for Papers
Inclusive storytelling is a research praxis. “Sociological praxis seeks to identify dominant narratives and to change them in a practical, useful way” (Rosile et al., 2013: 562). In this mode of inquiry, “the researcher problematizes dominant ideology threads of the storytelling” using Marxist, Critical Theory, & Postructuralism to deconstruct the monologic tendencies in change/development models. The goal of inclusive storytelling is ethno-theoretical, specifically to find the qualitative basis of theoretical knowledge that upholds systems of exclusion and inequity. Given the epistemological and axiological commitments of many organizational scholars, organizational scholars have an opportunity to overcome the elitist ways of being when encountering the lived experiences of those who experience the everyday suffering of exclusion and inequity – inclusive storytelling helps avoid alienating lived experiences by breaking through abstract categories.
With this sub-theme, we want to encourage research that denies the legitimacy of organizational theorizing when it treats inclusivity and equity as abstract sociological categories rather than lived experiences. The aim is to develop the necessary theoretical and empirical groundwork around the lived experiences of those who suffer from being excluded and inequitably treated to enable truly inclusive organizational theorizing. Here we align with discourse scholars that zoom-in-and-out between diverse organizational discursive layers starting from the practice and small discursive level and from there zoom out and put the local research findings into perspective according to broader organizational and societal Discourses (Starbæk Bager, 2016; Starbæk Bager & Mølholm, 2019; Starbæk Bager et al., 2020; Grant & Iedema, 2005; Nicolini, 2009, 2016). We call for work that challenges organizationally crystallized ways of saying and doing things and reveals the socio material and political practices that such activities are embedded in (discourse activism: Starbæk Bager & Mølholm, 2020, Starbæk Bager & McClellan, 2020; reflexivity in action: Cunliffe, 2003; Cunliffe & Coupland, 2011; and Butler’s reflexive undoing). This works together with a reclamation of practices in theorizing on organizational matters (Starbæk Bager, 2016; Nicolini, 2009). Another important element of inclusion is a post-humanist understanding of exclusion and inequity. Taking the planet itself as valuable in and of itself and taking extinction level events as the tragic death of a billion-year evolutionary line, we see that inclusion must include more than human interest. Specifically, recent historical research (Genoe McLaren et al., 2015) has sought a praxis future that moves beyond humanistic history (Boje & Saylors, 2015: 203).
We aim to encourage research on inclusive storytelling that includes researchers themselves as part of the rebellion against powers that are driving global society through poverty, pestilence, and the plundering of our futures. Initially, “storytelling” was used in a narrow way to explore the ways people engage in narrative-telling within organizations (Gabriel, 2000). More recent research has proffered storytelling theory as an embodied, emotional, elaboration of the cognitivist perspective that communication is constitutive of organizations (Starbæk Bager, 2019; Wolff Lundholt & Boje, 2018). Thus, inclusive storytelling can be enabled by studies of inclusivity in sensemaking (Weick, 2012), enchantment (Ganzin et al., 2020), power and subjectivity (Jørgensen, 2017), history-telling (Boje et al., 2016; Suddaby et al., 2019), dialogic practices and discursive openings (Starbæk Bager & McClellan, 2020) and through participatory reflexive and change-oriented work with organizational narrative-small-story dynamics (Starbæk Bager & Lundholdt, 2020). Seen from such perspectives, inclusive storytelling reaches beyond Western narratives and can include colonially excluded voices which proffer indigenous ways of knowing (Banerjee & Linstead, 2004; Banerjee & Tedmanson, 2010; Cajete, 2015; Hoskins & Jones, 2017; Pepion, 2016; Rosile, 2016; Sullivan TwoTrees & Kolan, 2016).
This sub-theme invites approaches that address the ‘smallness’ and the more informal dimensions of organizational storytelling practices such as small stories (Starbæk Bager, 2016; Bamberg, 1997, 2006; Bamberg & Georgakopoulou, 2008; Bamberg & Wipff, 2020), counter-narratives (Starbæk Bager et al., 2020; Bamberg & Andrews, 2004; Boje et al., 2016; Frandsen et al., 2016; Lueg et al., 2020) ante-narratives (Boje, 2011; 2020; Boje et al., 2016; Svane, 2019), dialectical ytorytelling (Boje, 2016a, 2016b), performative storytelling (Arendt, 2013; Butler, 2015; Jørgensen 2017), true storytelling (Larsen et al., 2021), organizational narratives-small-story dynamics (Starbæk Bager & Wolff Lundholdt, 2020) and the like. To date the role of inclusive storytelling and its links to challenges of inclusivity and equity are not well understood, both in theoretical and empirical terms, nor are there any ready-made solutions for facilitating inclusive storytelling that fosters inclusion and equity advancing research. Thus, we call for studies that help break through the “interesting” and “conversation” barriers to work that addresses super wicked problems faced by the impoverished, the marginalized, and those who suffer most both from climate-change and from climate change initiatives.
We invite conceptual and empirical submissions drawing on a range of theoretical perspectives and diverse methodologies. The following topic areas highlight exemplary questions and research themes:
Theory development: What theories presently disable inclusion and equity; what stories and underlying assumptions are these researchers enacting? What new stories could explain the same findings, but do so in a way that no longer excuses exclusion or crates inequality? What are the drivers, outcomes and boundary conditions of inclusive storytelling from different ontological, epistemological and sociology-of-science perspectives?
Empirical research: How can we help uncover the silencing of inclusive stories in organizations and its impact on inclusivity and equality? What are the conditions that contribute to the half-measures of inclusivity that act to exclude, like the UNs “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation”?
Including responsibility for colonialization: How can we achieve full indigenous sovereignty and complete recognition of the right to self-determination? How can organizational theory be re-told with inclusive storytelling to lead governments to protect native land, water, food, health care, social issues, housing, etc.?
Incorporating recent societal developments: How can militaries across the world be de-funded? What can be done to offset the traditional use of the military to employ “surplus people” and instead include these traumatized state-owned wage-slaves in a post-military society?
New forms of telling inclusive stories: Under what conditions can new forms of inclusive storytelling emerge? How can inclusive storytelling contribute to solving sustainable development challenges? How can existing inclusive storytelling practices be improved to better enable actual change?
Meta-reflexivity and ethics of storytelling research: How can storytelling scholars work reflexively and ethically with their own underlying assumptions and methods? Which stories or voices do we as storytelling scholars enable and which might we be disabling and excluding? What are the horizons of overcoming exclusion and inequality? How do we give voice to those we seek to emancipate from the neoliberal, capitalistic and growth-oriented ideologies? How do we avoid the pitfall of the emancipatory paradox (Starbæk Bager & Mølholm, 2020; Clegg et al., 2006) – pushing our ideals of emancipation on to research participants to achieve own interests? Which new discursive hegemonies do we risk foster, and how can we deal with such in a reflexive and ethical manner?
- Arendt, H. (2013): The Human Condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Bamberg, M.G. (1997): “Positioning between structure and performance.” Journal of Narrative and Life History, 7(1–4), 335–342.
- Bamberg, M.G. (2006): “Stories: Big or small: Why do we care?” Narrative Inquiry, 16 (1), 139–147.
- Bamberg, M.G. (2011): “Who am I? Narration and its contribution to self and identity.” Theory & Psychology, 21 (1), 3–24.
- Bamberg, M.G., & Andrews, M. (2004): Considering Counter-Narratives: Narrating, Resisting, Making Sense. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
- Bamberg, M.G., & Georgakopoulou, A. (2008): “Small stories as a new perspective in narrative and identity analysis.” Text & Talk, 28 (3), 377–396.
- Bamberg, M.G., & Wipff, Z. (2020): “Reconsidering Counter-Narratives.” In: K. Lueg & M. Wolff Lundholt (eds.): “The Routledge Handbook of Counter-Narratives.” London: Routledge, Part I, chapter 5.
- Banerjee, S.B., & Linstead, S. (2004): “Masking subversion: Neocolonial embeddedness in anthropological accounts of indigenous management.” Human Relations, 57 (2), 221–247.
- Banerjee, S., & Tedmanson, D. (2010): “Grass burning under our feet: Indigenous enterprise development in a political economy of whiteness.” Management Learning, 41 (2), 147–165.
- Boje, D.M. (2011): Storytelling and the Future of Organizations: An Antenarrative Handbook. London: Routledge.
- Boje, D.M. (2016a): “Dialectical storytelling: Transitioning university into respecting hawk rights to reproduce and have their family in a posthumanist world.” Working paper.
- Boje, D.M. (2016b): “The dialectic storytelling of the standing conference for management and organization inquiry (sc’MOI ) as it dismembers and re-members.” Tamara Journal of Critical Organisation Inquiry, 14 (1), 53.
- Boje, D.M. (2020): “A Counternarrative to the Accepted ‘Kolding Pyramid 9th Wonder of the World’ Narrative with Some Antenarrative Process Inquiries.” In: K. Lueg & M. Wolff Lundholt (eds.): The Routledge Handbook of Counter-Narratives. London: Routledge, Part I, chapter 4.
- Boje, D.M., Haley, U.C., & Saylors, R. (2016): “Antenarratives of organizational change: The microstoria of Burger King’s storytelling in space, time and strategic context.” Human Relations, 69 (2), 391–418.
- Boje, D.M., & Saylors, R. (2015): “Posthumanist entrepreneurial storytelling, global warming, and global capitalism.” In: P. Genoe McLaren, A.J. Mills & T.G. Weatherbee (eds.): The Routledge Companion to Management and Organizational History. London: Routledge, 197–205.
- Boje, D.M., Svane, M.S., & Gergerich, E. (2016): “Counternarrative and antenarrative inquiry in two cross-cultural contexts.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management, 4 (1), 55–84.
- Butler, J. (2015): Notes Towards a Performative Theory of Assembly. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Cajete, G. (2015): Indigenous Community: Rekindling the Teachings of the Seventh Fire. St. Paul: Living Justice Press.
- Clegg, S., Courpasson, D., & Phillips, N. (2006): Power and Organizations. London: SAGE Publications.
- Cunliffe, A.L. (2003): “Reflexive inquiry in organizational research: Questions and possibilities.” Human Relations, 56 (8), 983–1003.
- Cunliffe, A.L., & Coupland, C. (2011): “From hero to villain to hero: Making experience sensible through embodied narrative sensemaking.” Human Relations, 65 (1), 63–88.
- Frandsen, S., Kuhn, T., & Wolff Lundholt, M.W. (eds.) (2016): Counter-Narratives and Organization. London: Routledge.
- Gabriel, Y. (2000): Storytelling in Organizations: Facts, Fictions, and Fantasies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Ganzin, M., Islam, G., & Suddaby, R. (2020): “Spirituality and entrepreneurship: The role of magical thinking in future-oriented sensemaking”. Organization Studies, 41 (1), 77–102.
- Grant, D., & Iedema, R. (2005): “Discourse analysis and the study of organizations.” Text-Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse, 25 (1), 37–66.
- Jørgensen, K.M. (2017): “Entanglements of storytelling and power in the enactment of organizational subjectivity.” Academy of Management: Proceedings, 1, 15687.
- Larsen, J., Boje, D.M., & Bruun, L. (2021): True Storytelling. London: Routledge.
- Lueg, K., Starbæk Bager, A., & Wolff Lundholt, M. (2020): “Introduction: What counter-narratives are.” K. Lueg & M. Wolff Lundholt (eds.): The Routledge Handbook of Counter-Narratives. London: Routledge, Part I, chapter 1.
- Genoe McLaren, P., Mills, A.J., & Weatherbee, T.G. (eds.) (2015): The Routledge Companion to Management and Organizational History. London: Routledge.
- Nicolini, D. (2009): “Zooming in and out: Studying practices by switching theoretical lenses and trailing connections.” Organization Studies, 30 (12), 1391–1418.
- Nicolini, D. (2016): Practice Theory, Work, & Organization: An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Pepion, D.D. (2016): “Indigenous ways of knowing and quantum science for business ethics.” In Rosile, G.A. (ed.): Tribal Wisdom for Business Ethics. Bingley: Emerald, 17–21.
- Rosile, G.A. (ed.) (2016): Tribal Wisdom for Business Ethics. Bingley: Emerald.
- Rosile, G.A., Boje, D.M., Carlon, D.M., Downs, A., & Saylors, R. (2013): “Storytelling diamond: An antenarrative integration of the six facets of storytelling in organization research design.” Organizational Research Methods, 16 (4), 557–580.
- Starbæk Bager, A. (2016): ”Små fortællinger: diskursanalyse af fortællinger i praksis [Eng: Small stories: discourse analysis of stories in practice].” In: A. Horsbøl & P. Raudaskoski (eds.): Antologi om Diskurs og Praksis. Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur.
- Starbæk Bager, A., Lueg, K., & Wolff Lundholt, M. (2020): ” Concluding Remarks: Narrative Processuality and Future Research Avenues for Counter-Narrative Studies.” In: K. Lueg & M. Wolff Lundholt (eds.): The Routledge Handbook of Counter-Narratives. London: Routledge, Part VII, chapter 32.
- Starbæk Bager, A., & McClellan, J. (2020): “Sustainable organizing through dialogic practice: Narrative, discursive openings, and organizational change.” Working paper.
- Starbæk Bager, A., & Mølholm, M. (2020): “A methodological framework for organizational discourse activism: An ethics of dispositif and dialogue.” Philosophy of Management, 19 (1), 99–126.
- Starbæk Bager, A., & Wolff Lundholt, M. (2020): “Organizational Storymaking as Narrative-Small-Story Dynamics: A Combination of Organizational Storytelling Theory and Small Story Analysis.” In: K. Lueg & M. Wolff Lundholt (eds.): The Routledge Handbook of Counter-Narratives. London: Routledge, Part III, chapter 12.
- Suddaby, R., Coraiola, D., Harvey, C., & Foster, W. (2019): “History and the micro‐foundations of dynamic capabilities.” Strategic Management Journal, 41 (3), 530–556.
- Svane, M.S. (2019): “Organizational storytelling of the future: Ante- and anti-narrative in quantum age.” In: D.M. Boje & M. Sanchez (eds.): The Handbook of Management and Organizational Inquiry. Bingley: Emerald, 153–182.
- Sullivan TwoTrees, K., & Kolan, M. (2016): “The trees are breathing us: An indigenous view of relationship in nature and business.” In: G.A. Rosile (ed.): Tribal Wisdom for Business Ethics. Bingley: Emerald, 211–222.
- Weick, K.E. (2012): “Organized sensemaking: A commentary on processes of interpretive work.” Human Relations, 65 (1), 141–153.
- Wolff Lundholt, M., & Boje, D.M. (2018): “Understanding organizational narrative-counter-narratives dynamics: An overview of communication constitutes organization (CCO) and storytelling organization theory (SOT) approaches.” Communication and Language at Work, 5 (1), 18–29.