Constructing leadership by storytelling – the meaning of trust and narratives
Auvinen, T., Aaltio, I., & Blomqvist, K. (2013). Constructing leadership by storytelling – the meaning of trust and narratives. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 34(6), 496-514. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-10-2011-0102
Published inLeadership & Organization Development Journal
© Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This is an author's final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Elsevier.
Purpose – This paper approaches manager's storytelling as a means for promoting organizational aims and for constructing leadership, and examines the intentions of managers in this process. We focus on the context of storytelling and the content of the stories told by managers in order to identify areas of influence on subordinates. Storytelling in relation to building a narrative identity for the manager is also studied. Design/methodology/approach – This is an exploratory empirical study that draws on 13 thematic interviews with Finnish managers working in different fields. A qualitative thematic analysis is used in order to analyze the data. Findings – As a result of the study we found that managers tell stories in order to evoke leadership characterized by six areas of influence: motivation, inspiration, defusing conflict, influencing superiors, discovering a focus and constructing trust. According to the findings, the managers see stories as an effective means of building trust between leaders and their subordinates. It was also found that managers can use stories self-reflectively and as a means of self-development. Practical implications – Storytelling can empower leadership and support interaction with subordinates. One application of this study is informing elements of leadership development such as business education programmes for managers and future managers. Originality/value – Narrative leadership is a highly valued but still under-researched approach to leadership. This study seeks to fill this gap in the research by providing an empirically based contribution to the field, emphasizing the intentional nature of storytelling. ...
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd
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Auvinen, Tommi (Jyväskylän yliopisto, 2013)
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