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Grand plots of management bestsellers: Learning from narrative and thematic coherence
Jagiellonian University, Poland; University of Bradford, UK. (LEO)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5303-5544
The University of Sheffield, UK; University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland.
2016 (English)In: Management Learning, ISSN 1350-5076, E-ISSN 1461-7307, Vol. 47, no 3, 324-342 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Barbara Czarniawska and Carl Rhodes have argued that managers and entrepreneurs oĕ en learn from popular culture. ă e dominant plots off er the accepted interpretations and guide for actions, whereas alternative plots, available but not most prominent, provide schemes for possible departures from the common wisdom. In this article, we propose that not only works of đ ction serve this purpose; powerful ideas derive also from popular management books, not only in terms of explicit content but also as what we term, in homage to Lyotard, the grand plots: structures of meaning not usually seen as the overt message of this article. We present the results of our classiđ catory reading of popular management books, interpreting them in terms of the tacit notions of narrative development and cohesion, emplotted in the background. ă e contribution of this article is to show the ways in which the grand plots of popular management books are used to achieve coherence in presenting the books’ total solutions for a variety of organizational problems and contexts. What their readers learn is not so much (or not just) how to manage but how to make narrative sense of management regarded as part of wider cultural context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2016. Vol. 47, no 3, 324-342 p.
Keyword [en]
Grand plots, Management discourse, Narrativity, Popular management textbooks, Sensemaking
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Economy, Business administration; Economy, Organisation theory
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-57500DOI: 10.1177/1350507615592114OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-57500DiVA: diva2:1038935
Available from: 2016-10-20 Created: 2016-10-20 Last updated: 2016-10-31Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf