Myths, Stories, and Organizations: Premodern Narratives for our Times

Hardcover | May 11, 2004

EditorYiannis Gabriel

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Each chapter of this book takes as its starting point a myth, a legend, a story or a fable, and explores its contemporary relevance for a world of globalization, organizations and, consumerism. Each contributor is inspired by a relatively short but rich text which is then used as a springboardfor an analysis of contemporary social and organizational realities. The idea behind this book is that by looking at contemporary society through the prism of pre-modern narratives, certain features emerge in sharp relief, while others are found to be entrenched in societies across the ages.The texts that have inspired the authors of this collection differ - some are myths, some are stories, one is a children's tale. The origins of these texts differ, from the scriptural to the folkloric, from high art to oral tradition. What all the texts have in common is a distinct and compellingplot, a cast of recognizable characters with an ability to touch us and speak to us through the ages, and, above all, a powerful symbolic aura, one that makes them identifiable landmarks in storytelling tradition. The driving force behind this project was each author's love for their narratives. Itis not an exaggeration to say that the book is a true labour of love.The chapters are introduced by the editor and are arranged in four parts, each with it own introduction. The chapters in each part spring from stories that share a narrative character, and are labelled as Knowledge Narratives, Heroic Narratives, Tragic Narratives, and Reflecive Narratives.The book offers a set of probing, original and critical inquiries into the nature of human experience knowledge and truth, the nature of leadership, power and heroic achievement, postmodernity and its discontents, and emotion, identity and the nature of human relations in organizations.Different chapters deal, among other things, with the nature of leadership in the face of terrorism, friendship, women's position in organizations, the struggle for identity, the curse of insatiable consumption and the ways the hero and heroine are constructed in our times.

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Each chapter of this book takes as its starting point a myth, a legend, a story or a fable, and explores its contemporary relevance for a world of globalization, organizations and, consumerism. Each contributor is inspired by a relatively short but rich text which is then used as a springboardfor an analysis of contemporary social and ...

Yiannis Gabriel is Professor of Organizational Theory, School of Management, Imperial College, having taught previously at Thames Polytechnic and Bath University. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London, where he also carried out post-graduate studies in industrial sociology. He has a PhD in Sociology fr...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:262 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.55 inPublished:May 11, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199264481

ISBN - 13:9780199264483

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Table of Contents

Barbara Czarniawska: PrefaceYiannis Gabriel: IntroductionPart I: The Knowledge Narratives: Experience, Learning, and Truth1. Yiannis Gabriel: The Narrative Veil2. Silvia Gherardi: Knowing as Desire: Dante's Ulisse at the End of the Known World3. Peter Case: The Blind People and the Elephant4. Dimitris Kyrtatas: Heaven and Paradise: Western Ways of Perfect (Non)-OrganizationPart II: The Heroic Narratives: Achievement, Leadership, and Power5. Keith Grint: Overcoming the Hydra: Leaderless Groups and Terrorism6. Robert French and Patrick Moore: Divided Neither in Life nor in Death: Friendship and Leadership in the Story of David and Jonathan7. Donncha Kavanagh and Majella O'Leary: The Legend of Cu Chulainn: Exploring Organization Theory's Heroic OdysseyPart III: The Tragic Narratives: Postmodernity and its Discontents8. Peter Pelzer: The Flying Dutchman and the Discontents of Postmodernity9. Yvonne Guerrier: Arachne and Minerva: Women, Power, and Realization10. Ulrich Gehmann: Prometheus, the Quest for Knowledge and the Promise of Salvation through Technique11. Diana Winstanley: Phaethon, the Struggle for Identity, and the Reins of Power12. Heather Hopfl: The Hymn to Demeter: The Curse of Insatiable ConsumptionPart IV: The Reflexive Narratives: Emotion, Identity, and the Nature of Relations in Organizations13. David Sims: The Velveteen Rabbit and the Emotional Construction of Organizations14. Tony Watson: Shy William and the Gaberlunzie Girl