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Storytelling in OrganizationsFacts, Fictions, and Fantasies$
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Yiannis Gabriel

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198290957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198290957.001.0001

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Heroes, Villains, Fools, and Magic Wands

Heroes, Villains, Fools, and Magic Wands

Chapter:
(p.153) Chapter 7 Heroes, Villains, Fools, and Magic Wands
Source:
Storytelling in Organizations
Author(s):

Yiannis Gabriel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198290957.003.0008

The main theme of this chapter is computer stories, related by three groups of organizational participants, computer experts, managers and users. Computers are powerful tools and those who control them have power. To control them, one needs to speak their language. Even though the computer is symbolically hollow for routine users, it is used extensively for disseminating information, gossip, and stories. If power is one of the hidden agendas of computer stories at the workplace, especially of stories recounted by experts and managers, discomfort and apprehension are the underlying message of many. It is interesting that in no stories did the computer feature as the friend of the user, nor as party to heroic deeds. At the heart of these apprehensions may lie the sense that computers are already too clever and too powerful to be controlled by humans, while at the same time we have become too dependent on them to be able to function without them.

Keywords:   computer stories, experts, gossip, stories, managers, users

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