Can Stories Shape Strategy? Narrative-Structured Information and Strategic Decision Making
Academy of Management Proceedings, January 2013
7 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2015
Date Written: 2013
Despite progress made by prior research in understanding how information is used in strategic decision making, most studies are grounded on a similar, unstated assumption: information is homogeneous. We examine the influence of an important source of information heterogeneity: strategic information can be structured in narrative or non-narrative form. We develop a theoretical framework to explain why narrative information will have a greater likelihood of entering the decision making process and then, once there, why it will be more likely to influence key cognitive processes. Specifically, we propose that narrative-structured information will be more likely than non-narrative information to be granted attention, analyzed, recalled, and used in communication with other strategic decision makers. Moreover, we contend that the strength of narrative information will not be the same across stable and unstable decision making contexts.
Keywords: narrative, storytelling, strategic decision making, strategy process, strategic management, organizational communication
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