Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Role of stories in organizational culture

In the last byte, we looked at the role played by ceremonies and rites in creating an organizational culture. In today's byte, we discuss about stories.

Stories regarding an organization play a huge role in reinforcing role in communicating the organizational values. As stories are told and retold, they give meaning and identity to organizations and are found to very helpful in orienting new employees. 

Some of the themes of stories that are common in organization are:
  1. Stories about the boss
  2. Stories about getting fiered
  3. Stories about hwo the company deals with employees who have relocated
  4. Stories about whether lower-level employees can rise to the top
  5. Stories about how the company deals with crisis situation
  6. Stories about how status considerations work when rules are broken.
The information from these stories serve to guide the behavior in an organization.
Stories are extremely powerful medium of communication as the listener is left to draw his/her own conclusions.

One should always remember that for stories to be effective as a cultural tool, the stories should be credible. Stories which are not backed by reality often lead to cynicism and mistrust.

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