Managing to beat death: The narrative construction process

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to introduce narrative construction, a method by which participants produce a narrative to make sense of their organizational context, as well as strategically guide action and decision making. While narrative theory has long-held that people construct narratives to make sense of, and guide, their experience, narrative construction here entails a deliberate and strategic approach to narrative theory. Design/methodology/approach: This is part of an ethnonarrative approach that includes both a constructionist and interpretive narrative and ethnographic methodology. Findings: Narrative construction has research implications for an ethnomethodology of social construction and empirical observation of narrative enactment. There are practical implications for enabling change and building highly-coordinated organizations. Originality/value: Narrative construction offers a new qualitative methodology and extends ethnonarrative research. The research setting, a death penalty defense team, is also unique. It also moves narrative theory beyond an interpretive device to a constructionist strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-463
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Change
  • Death penalty
  • Decision making
  • Ethnography
  • Ethnonarrative
  • Narratives
  • United States of America


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