Chapter 1: Toward a Narrative Dynamic Conceptualization
1. Toward a narrative dynamic conceptualization 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...
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