Many organisational gurus highlight the value of oral narrative or storytelling as a catalyst for organisational change or a way to share knowledge. Tomes of articles describe seasoned raconteurs single handedly inciting enormous transformation in organisations. Oxymoronically many written works are describing the power of oral narrative. Surely these printed exposÃ©s are themselves motivators for change; so why the continued emphasis on the face‑to‑face storytelling? There is no disputing the fact that oral narrative is a powerful form of communicating; however, it is not always feasible. In fact, there are times when the written word packs a more powerful punch. Often it is simply not possible to catch the ear of a wide audience simultaneously, or even at all. Many people simply will not take time from their busy schedules to listen to stories. Busy executives seem to prefer the written word to the spoken. In these cases, the power of the pen offers a persuasive substitute. This is a tale about such stories in action, each of which seemed to sow the seed of change. Of course, time will be the real test; however, anecdotal evidence seems to support the proposition that well‑written futuristic stories provide an excellent alternative to face‑to‑face oral narrative. At least in these examples, the written story proved to be a motivator for organisational change and an effective way to share knowledge. This paper is about the use of narrative to share knowledge; it is part tutorial and part theory. Building on the foundational knowledge developed by Denning, Snowden, Prusak, and others this paper describes the "how to" of effective storytelling to create and share knowledge within organisations.
Does Intellectual Capital Management 'Make a Difference'? A Critical Case Study Application of Structuration Theory pp515-526
The central problem addressed in this paper is how intellectual capital (IC) management can progress beyond measurement and disclosure to provide a more dynamic interpretive scheme, in order to meet strategic management's demand that IC should 'make a difference'. Via a longitudinal case study, we observe an evolving use of narrative in disclosing IC and the manner and impacts of that change, set in the real example of a sophisticated organisation's struggle to realise the potential value of managing IC amidst rapid business change and intense competition. In order to frame the discussion, elements of Giddens' 'structuration theory' are critically applied to understand the recursiveness of the change that occurred from within the organisation. We report three main findings. First, organisation's operating environment, as reflected in changes to the framework adopted for managing IC despite continuing frustration in realising the envisaged benefits. Second, we establish the use of structuration theory as a tool to analyse the manner and impact of IC practices in future research. Third, we show how the stated aims of IC practice have not yet been fully realised by the studied organisation, thus providing a realistic example of the possible failings of IC practice due to inadequacies of the modalities employed by management to bring about recursive change and the need for a fuller assessment of projective agency.