A Narrative Approach to Business Growth
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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.
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Chapter 3: Weaving Narrative Bits and Pieces

Mona Ericson


The participatory narrative approach mediates an ontology that enables consistency throughout the text in this book with a world of lived experience and a human being’s belongingness to cultural tradition – the historical past. This belongingness makes tradition a partner with which a human being can enter into a dialogue, bringing the past and the present together (Gadamer, [1960] 1989). Ontological consistency then implies that the empirical–theoretical interlaced discussions and the methodological discussion in this book enclose an existential dimension9 that throws light on individuals’ relationality. Given the historicity of experience, homo narrans as relational selves become part of the world and coexist with it. In the words of Gadow (1999: 62): ‘Individuals are intrinsically relational; existential subjectivity is intersubjectivity.’ A relational narrative extends beyond the particularity of a person alone but also beyond one particular growth theory. The narrative embodies intersubjectivity, which is an alternative to both the subjectivity of immersion and the objectivity of detachment, as Gadow (1999) propounds. The narrative invites different voices to make themselves heard and different theoretical threads to be woven into their tellings. Not confined to a prespecified growth perspective ready to be applied when generating and weaving togther the bits and pieces practitioners narratively communicate, the participatory narrative approach allows for the use of growth concepts rooted in narrative as well as in nonnarrative theories. With the emphasis on intersubjectivity, an interpretation and understanding of business growth emerges through a plurivocality that permits a move beyond a monovocal growth theory. More clearly,...

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