The Storytelling Seminar brings together scholars, research students and practitioners who are interested in the nature of stories and storytelling in organizations and the use of stories in research on different aspects of organizational life, including politics, gender, culture, leadership and emotion. This has been a rapidly growing area of scholarship generating numerous books, articles and dissertations and the seminar is intended to provide a forum in which cutting edge ideas in the field can be exchanged, disseminated and discussed.
The first seminar was organized by Yiannis Gabriel and Yehuda Baruch in 2001 at Imperial College. Since then, there have been two to three seminars per year, hosted by a variety of academic institutions including Royal Holloway University of London, Humanistic University of Utrecht, Free University of Amsterdam, University of Exeter, University of Southampton, University College Cork, City University, University of Bath and the University of East Anglia.
The ethos of the seminar is to stimulate discussion and argument among people who share a fascination and love for stories and storytelling and believe that stories open valuable windows into the world of organizations and their members. To this end, the number of participants is limited to no more than 40 and the cost of participation is kept low. Each seminar tends to focus on a specific aspect of storytelling scholarship, such as ethical issues, practical aspects of the research or theoretical areas like power, organizational change, gender, professionalization, identity and career. Some seminars have been one-day and some two-day events. The format has varied but there is always emphasis on discussion, and on mixing new and seasoned participants. One seminar each year is aimed predominantly at PhD students who are interested in using stories as part of their research methodology and can benefit from the experience of more seasoned storytelling researchers.
There is no formal organizing committee or board running this programme. Seminars are organized on an entirely voluntary basis by scholars who have participated in some earlier events and would like to host an event in their home institution.