Seminar 14


14th Storytelling Seminar

19 MAY 2008

Drift 6, Utrecht NL


  • Drs Suzanne Tesselaar, Consultant Amsterdam
  • Dr. Lena Bendien, UvH Utrecht

The series of organizational storytelling seminars is aimed at bringing 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. Now in its 8th year, earlier seminars have taken place in a variety of academic institutions including Imperial College, University of Exeter, University College Cork, City University and the University of East Anglia.
This is the first time that the seminar travels onto the continent.

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 (with registration on a first come, first serve basis) and the cost of participation is kept low. Details on past seminars can be found at

In this 14th storytelling seminar we wish to invite our participants to a discussion about organizational change stories, changing organization via storytelling, and exploring organizational change through storytelling. We are especially interested in the ‘authenticity’ of the story; is any such ‘authenticity’ grounded in a relationship to an initial circumstance or to the storyteller, or to a researcher, or to an audience, or to a text — or to all, some, or none of these? Furthermore what is the relationship between ‘authenticity’ and ‘ownership’ — who if anyone ‘owns’ the story? And what do ‘authenticity’ and ‘ownership’ have to do with ‘sense-making’?

The seminar will cover a wide range of themes and contexts; some of them are:

  • Organizational change via storytelling
  • Change strategies that make use of storyselling
  • The use of storytelling in organizational change research
  • Sense-making via storytelling
  • Storytelling as a means of practitioner self-knowledge

Participants are invited to think about cases of storytelling for comparison & contrast in the breakout sessions and discussion (see schedule).


  • Yiannis Gabriel, Professor of Organizational Theory, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Hugo Letiche, Research Professor ‘Meaning-in-Organization’, UvH Utrecht
  • Peter Pelzer, Visiting Reader UvH Utrecht & Consultant
  • Con Connell, Professor of Management, University of Southampton, UK