Fragmented Work Stories: Developing an Antenarrative Approach by Discontinuity, Tensions and Editing

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Following a strand of narrative studies pointing to the living conditions of storytelling and the micro-level implications of working within fragmented narrative perspectives, this article contributes to narrative research on work stories by focusing on how meaning is created from fragmented stories. We argue that meaning by story making is not always created by coherence and causality; meaning is created by different types of fragmentation: discontinuities, tensions and editing. The objective of this article is to develop and advance antenarrative practice analysis of work stories by exploring how different types of fragmentation create meanings. This is done by studying the work stories of job and personnel consultants and by drawing on the results of a narrative, ethnographic study of a consultancy. The analysis demonstrates how work stories are social practices negotiated, retold, edited and performed by the storyteller in an ongoing process allowing tensions, discontinuities and editing between failures and achievements, between dreams and work realities and between home and work life. We argue that by including different types of fragmentation, we offer a new type of antenarrative practice approach that offers a contemporary method for exploring meaning creation in work stories.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement Learning
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)582-597
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Antenarratives
  • Consultancy
  • Narrative
  • Practice
  • Storytelling

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