Making Sense of Organisational Change Through Vicarious Narratives

Dorte Lønsmann

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


    The paper focuses on the role of vicarious narratives in employees’ sense‐making in relation to organisational change. The paper addresses the following research question: How do employees use vicarious narratives to makes sense of organisational change, and of their own role in the organisation? In this familyowned company, stories about the four generations of the founding family play an important role in making sense of changes and changing values in the organisation.
    When employees tell stories about the founders and about other employees, and especially when these are told again and again, the telling of the stories becomes a symbol of belonging to a corporate culture while at the same time contributing to creating that culture. The paper therefore also examines the ways in which vicarious narratives are part of the process of creating corporate culture and identity.
    The data for the paper has been collected as part of a larger project on multilingual workplaces in Denmark. The fieldwork took place over a period of two years in one Danish SME and consists of ethnographic interviews with employees and management, observations from four different departments and written material e.g. in the form of emails. While the analysis of vicarious narratives in the interviews is the primary focus, the analysis is informed by ethnographic analysis of the full data set.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2015
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event14th International Pragmatics Conference - Antwerp, Belgium
    Duration: 30 Jul 201531 Jul 2015
    Conference number: 14


    Conference14th International Pragmatics Conference
    Internet address

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