A Narrative Approach to Business Growth

A Narrative Approach to Business Growth

Mona Ericson

Mona Ericson conceptualizes business growth using a participatory narrative approach, adopting story-like representations of growth activity. This approach emphasizes the use of description, conceptualization, knowledge sharing and interpretation. It connects the subject and the researcher allowing the latter to better understand the actual practice of growing a business, while also extending the study to the novice and general reader alike.

Chapter 1: Toward a Narrative Dynamic Conceptualization

Mona Ericson

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, organisation studies, strategic management


This book conceptualizes business growth through a narrative approach that uses a story-like representation of growth. A narrative has a rich potential for enhancing our understanding (Rossiter, 1999) of growth and the emotionally charged changes (Orbuch, 1997) that come with growth. A narrative dynamic conceptualization builds on a communicative structure that corresponds to people’s ways of experiencing life (Demers, Giroux and Chreim, 2003). Practitioners’ tellings invite us to an interpretation and understanding that make it possible to capture a multidimensional character of growth, opening up previously marginalized sides in research on growth. Interpretation and understanding mediate a participative and dialogically structured world. In such a world, experience denotes an integrative ongoing process in the life of the practitioner, relating the practitioner to other human beings and to the cultural past. The book also includes the organizing and shaping of a pattern of growth, using ‘plot’ as a means of interconnecting practitioners’ growth-related activities and concomitant changes. Generally plot ‘functions to transform a chronicle or listing of events into a schematic whole by highlighting and recognizing the contribution that certain events make to the development and outcome of the story’ (Polkinghorne, 1988: 18–19). Nevertheless, if we keep our ears open to a variety of utterances among practitioners, more than one plot is presented. Apparently there is no schematic whole and no one single plot that maps and analytically portrays growth through a casual, linear and coherent arrangement of stories (Boje, 2000). The plots flow with the practitioners’ stories, elevating a...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information