On organisational stories and myths: Why it is easier to slay a dragon than to kill a myth

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The author explores how events in organisations are turned into stories. Three major types of story are identified and illustrated: the comic, the tragic, and the epic, as well as a number of hybrids. The emotions generated by these stories are explored as well as some of the meanings which they reveal. The author then discusses why people espouse particular stories with almost religious fervour and suggests that organisational stories are essentially fulfilments of unconscious wishes. In conclusion, he argues that stories and the ‘careers’ which they pursue in organisations can illuminate that dimension referred to as the unmanaged organisation, where desires and pleasure predominate over rationality and expedience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-442
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Sociology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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