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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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Studying Emotion through Stories

Studying Emotion through Stories

Chapter:
(p.169) Chapter 8 Studying Emotion through Stories
Source:
Storytelling in Organizations
Author(s):

Yiannis Gabriel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198290957.003.0009

This chapter is an exploration of nostalgic stories in organizations. It also offers a systematic analysis of one particular emotion, nostalgia, through the medium of storytelling; in so doing, it presents one particular mode in which organizational members seek to make sense of their daily experiences — namely, by juxtaposing them to an organization's past and comparing them to it. This chapter presents a view of nostalgia as encompassing a range of distinct emotional orientations in organizations. It argues that organizational nostalgia is not a marginal phenomenon, but a pervasive one, dominating the outlook of numerous organizational members, and even defining the dominant emotional complexion of some organizations. It feeds organizational folklore about ‘characters’ and events, engraved in the collective memory. More generally, this chapter shows that the study of nostalgia provides a powerful approach to the study of feelings and fantasies, revealing some of the fundamental complexity and ambivalence of emotional life in organizations.

Keywords:   nostalgic stories, nostalgia, storytelling, organizational folklore, feelings, fantasies, emotional life

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