On the Narrative Construction of Multinational Corporations: An Antenarrative Analysis of Legitimation and Resistance in a Cross-Border Merger

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dc.contributor.author Vaara, Eero
dc.contributor.author Tienari, Janne
dc.date.accessioned 2011-05-23T13:02:05Z
dc.date.available 2011-05-23T13:02:05Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10138/26463
dc.description.abstract Although extant research has highlighted the role of discourse in the cultural construction of organizations, there is a need to elucidate the use of narratives as central discursive resources in unfolding organizational change. Hence, the objective of this article is to develop a new kind of antenarrative approach for the cultural analysis of organizational change. We use merging multinational corporations (MNCs) as a case in point. Our empirical analysis focuses on a revelatory case: the financial services group Nordea, which was built by combining Swedish, Finnish, Danish, and Norwegian corporations. We distinguish three types of antenarrative that provided alternatives for making sense of the merger: globalist, nationalist, and regionalist (Nordic) antenarratives. We focus on how these antenarratives were mobilized in intentional organizational storytelling to legitimate or resist change: globalist storytelling as a means to legitimate the merger and to create MNC identity, nationalist storytelling to relegitimate national identities and interests, Nordic storytelling to create regional identity, and the critical use of the globalist storytelling to challenge the Nordic identity. We conclude that organizational storytelling is characterized by polyphonic, stylistic, chronotopic, and architectonic dialogisms and by a dynamic between centering and decentering forces. This paper contributes to discourse-cultural studies of organizations by explaining how narrative constructions of identities and interests are used to legitimate or resist change. Furthermore, this analysis elucidates the dialogical dynamics of organizational storytelling and thereby opens up new avenues for the cultural analysis of organizations. fi
dc.language.iso en fi
dc.subject multinational fi
dc.subject merger fi
dc.subject acquisition fi
dc.subject integration fi
dc.subject culture fi
dc.subject identity fi
dc.subject discourse fi
dc.subject narrative fi
dc.subject storytelling fi
dc.subject antenarrative fi
dc.subject polyphony fi
dc.subject heteroglossia fi
dc.subject power fi
dc.subject ideology fi
dc.title On the Narrative Construction of Multinational Corporations: An Antenarrative Analysis of Legitimation and Resistance in a Cross-Border Merger fi

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