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(Re)producing the organization through narratives : the case of a multinational

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This paper explores, from a narrative perspective, the organizational change process resulting from a string of take-overs within a tire manufacturing company in Spain. It elaborates on the effects of these changes in the way people reconstruct the organization and their role as its employees through the stories they share. These stories compose a collectively reproduced narrative that guides, and therefore constrains, employees' historical recollections. They are the vehicle through which people reproduce and challenge their cultural order in the organization through their (re)production and generation within that order. It is by way of narratives and the space they create that people are able to make sense of a changing situation using both their personal experiences and the symbols their cultural environment provides. Storytelling becomes then the constant process of reformulation that opens a space for the development of individual awareness and competence within the cultural constraints that the organization imposes on its members. These findings imply that we should take the discursive elements that both constrain our descriptions and our explanations of organizational change process seriously, and if possible provide opportunities for more or less intentional (re)interpretations of those processes when planning organizational interventions.

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