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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tell me about yourself: Storytelling that propels careers
by Hansen, Katharine H., Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2007, 265; 3273577
Abstract (Summary)

Tell Me About Yourself: Storytelling that Propels Careers, the book manuscript that served as an addendum to this Project Demonstrating Excellence/dissertation and for which this document presented a scholarly foundation, proposed that storytelling provides an innovative way to enter and thrive within ever-changing organizations.

Change presents a persistent challenge for organizations. Organization members consistently need to know how to adapt to and communicate about change. Accepting the premise that organizations undergo constant flux suggests that individuals within organizations can facilitate change, ease the stress of change, and help achieve organizational goals by improving the way they communicate about change. A significant challenge to maintaining stability in the face of organizational change is the exit of individuals from the organization that creates the need for new individuals to enter. As they attempt to enter, job-seekers who demonstrate that they can handle, lead, or communicate change may have an advantage in gaining organizational entry and acceptance, in part because new contributors are needed—as former members exit—to promulgate and communicate organizational change. Storytelling, an emergent tool for organizational research, management, and communication, has attained scholarly support as an effective medium through which organization members can communicate organizational change.

The book Tell Me About Yourself: Storytelling that Propels Careers explored storytelling as a communication tool to facilitate organizational entry and advancement in changing organizations. This research, conducted through narrative inquiry and online focus groups, examined the extent to which and the ways in which storytelling enables individuals to enter organizations and ease the stress of organizational change for themselves and the entire organization. The research paves the way for further study of, for example, change stories in situations beyond those in this study to research that more closely scrutinizes how various populations differ in the way they view and make sense of organizational change, as well as additional research from the perspective of hiring decision-makers about the concept of job-seekers' using storytelling in the job search.

This research suggests a need for additional development and research of the concept of the "storytelling resume" and study of how job-seekers can enhance their storytelling abilities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fritz, H. Ira
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 68/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Occupational psychology, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Careers, Job interviewing, Organizational change, Storytelling
Publication Number: 3273577
ISBN: 978-0-549-13745-0
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