MGT 2015 Narrative and Management

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Transcript MGT 2015 Narrative and Management

MGT 2015 Narrative and Management

Prof. Sandford Borins Winter 2009

What is narrative?

“the representation (as product and process, object and act, structure and structuration) of one or more real or fictive events communicated by one, two, or several (more or less overt) narrators to one, two, or several (more or less overt) narratees.” Gerald Prince, A Dictionary of Narratology (2003)

Why narrative?

• • • • • Vivid illustration (specificity, description, visual images) of: Management skills Organizational structures, processes, incentives and cultures Ethical dilemmas Management concepts Personal/professional relationship

Why narrative?

• • • • Narrative skill Understanding, critiquing, creating narratives Business plan Forensic accounting report Narrative and political campaigns

Types of narratives (genres)

• • • Examples of genres: Heroic narrative (organizational turnaround) Things fall apart (organizational failure) Bildungsroman, or coming-of-age narrative (shit happened, but I survived and learned from it)

Types of narratives (contexts)

• • • • Examples of contexts: Entrepreneurial business Large corporations Public high schools Government organizations Dominant fable: archetype in a given context Counter fable: inverts, subverts, distorts, critiques or rejects dominant fable

Types of narrators

• • • • • • All-knowing narrator (19 th century documentaries) century novels, 20 th Observant minor character (ficelle, note-taker) First person narrator (political memoir, I Claudius) Behavioural narrator (cinema verite camera) Unreliable or compromised narrator: doesn’t remember, misremembers, misinterprets Multiple narrators

Print versus visual media

• • • • • Print (novel) Usually sole author Inner consciousness expressed Long time span, many episodes Reader’s imagination supplements description Reading as solitary experience

Print versus visual media

• • • • • Visual (film, television series) Collaborating creators Specificity of visual images Hard to present “thinking” Limited number of episodes, short-time frame Viewing in cinema as collective experience, home viewing solitary

Narrative and accuracy

• • • • • Historically accurate Based on a true story Truthfulness versus truthiness (Moynihan: everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts) Roman a clef Completely invented

Universe of choices

• Genre (3) X Context (4) X dominant or counter-fable (2) X type of narrator (6) X print or visual (2) X level of accuracy (4) = 1152 possibilities

Erik Erikson (1902-94)

• • • • American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst Post-Freudian theory of human development Famous for “identity crisis” Application in this course to understanding relationship between work and personal life

Erik Erikson: life cycle as narrative

Age Infant 1 to 3 Preschool (3 to 5) School age Adolescence Early adulthood Middle adulthood Late adulthood Success trust autonomy initiative competence identity intimacy generativity integrity Failure mistrust doubt, shame guilt inferiority role confusion isolation stagnation despair

Everyone Rides the Carousel

• • • What is the message of the film?

What techniques are used to convey the message?

Does Erikson’s model of ego development make sense to you?

How to Watch a Movie for this Course • • • • • • • Be alert (at computer rather on sofa) Take notes (plot, memorable lines, narrative aspects, i.e. visuals, sound track) Use scenes on the DVD Check wikipedia, imdb references Apply narrative categories (genre, context, fable, narrator, level of accuracy) Think about discussion questions Did you enjoy the movie? Why or why not?

Discussion Questions for Enron 1.Describe Enron’s corporate strategy and culture and incentive system as reported in the film. Why did the company fail? Compare/contrast Enron’s failure with the failures of major financial services firms last year (Lehman Brothers, WaMu, AIG).

2.Explain and evaluate the narrative methods used in producing this documentary. How is this narrative structured? How is the story developed? What role do interviews play? Who is the narrator and what is his/her point of view? How are music and visuals used? Is the narrative effective?

Discussion Questions for Enron 3.Considering the different roles women play in this movie, discuss whether it is a feminist film.

4.Explain the analogy of the Milgram obedience experiment in the movie. (Remember that 50% of those who participated inflicted potentially lethal electric shocks.) Does it work? What were the implications of the experiment for participants? For experimental social science? What do you think would be the results if the experiment were repeated now ?