Telling stories about strategies: a narratological approach to marketing planning

Ardley, Barry (2006) Telling stories about strategies: a narratological approach to marketing planning. The Marketing Review, 6 (3). pp. 197-209. ISSN 1469-347x

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/146934706778605296

Abstract

An increasing amount of literature suggests that the narrative form is an important source of meaning in organisations and that it should be harnessed for strategic purposes. This paper argues for this perspective, reporting on some research carried out into marketing planning processes in a variety of organisations, where high incidences of storytelling occurred. The research demonstrates that the telling of stories is central to the sense making processes used by senior marketing staff as they go about making key marketing decisions. Previous research into marketing planning, much of it based on the rational technical paradigm, has seriously neglected this important dimension of sense making in organisations. The narratives used by the marketing managers in this study appear to strongly influence the way they construct meaning and act in organisational settings. Based on these findings, an alternative approach to marketing planning is outlined, one which takes full account of the narrative story telling mode in the construction of strategy. The case is that marketing planning, both in scholarly and practical terms, has rarely been subjected to a narratological perspective. This paper attempts to help remedy the situation.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:An increasing amount of literature suggests that the narrative form is an important source of meaning in organisations and that it should be harnessed for strategic purposes. This paper argues for this perspective, reporting on some research carried out into marketing planning processes in a variety of organisations, where high incidences of storytelling occurred. The research demonstrates that the telling of stories is central to the sense making processes used by senior marketing staff as they go about making key marketing decisions. Previous research into marketing planning, much of it based on the rational technical paradigm, has seriously neglected this important dimension of sense making in organisations. The narratives used by the marketing managers in this study appear to strongly influence the way they construct meaning and act in organisational settings. Based on these findings, an alternative approach to marketing planning is outlined, one which takes full account of the narrative story telling mode in the construction of strategy. The case is that marketing planning, both in scholarly and practical terms, has rarely been subjected to a narratological perspective. This paper attempts to help remedy the situation.
Keywords:narrative research, Marketing
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N500 Marketing
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Business School
ID Code:868
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:08 Jun 2007
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:24

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