The living story of Living Technology.
: The sensemaking of the thematic profiling strategy of a University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands

  • Rients Bote Jozef Jorna

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Business (DBA)


This thesis analyses how Saxion UAS’s strategy for implementing the thematic focus of ‘Living Technology’ is unfolding in the organization as a whole, by examining how the strategy is understood by its participants. According to the notion of ‘strategy as practice’, people’s narratives reveal their understanding of and influence on an organization’s strategy and its implementation. In fact, people are strategizing actors, contributing to the strategy by means of their storytelling  in this case about Living Technology. There is a continuum between the meso narratives (the intended corporate storytelling) and the micro narratives (the organizational storytelling) within the dynamics of a storytelling organization. Inspired by a narrative approach to strategy as practice, the thesis aims to analyse how the participants make sense of the organization’s strategy. The case study reveals that the strategy that was chosen for the implementation of ‘Living Technology’ is very much influenced by macro neoliberal governmental policies. By choosing Living Technology as their focus, the organization adopts a stance which is responsive to this contextual environment. Being a part of the national life science-oriented top sector involves an ongoing, multi-discursive process in which both the intended corporate storytelling and the incremental, multi-interpretable organizational storytelling by the participants shape direction and performance. Analysing an organization’s storytelling is enriching, as it gives deeper insight into the strategizing process. Whereas the formal reports that appear within a planning & control cycle suggest that the corporate strategy is unequivocally understood and complied with, the organizational storytelling reveals in an enriching way how people make sense of strategy. In other words, the narratives of participants show how strategy works out in practice. Keywords: strategy as practice, storytelling, sensemaking
Date of Award11 Jul 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorJurgen Enders (Supervisor) & Yiannis Gabriel (Supervisor)


  • strategy as practice
  • storytelling
  • sensemaking

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