Leading a multinational is history in practice: The use of invented traditions and narratives at AkzoNobel, Shell, Philips and ABN AMRO

Sjoerd Keulen, DBR (Ronald) Kroeze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article states that the distinctiveness of business history and its convincingness can be improved by the concept of invented tradition and narrative. After a theoretical overview it suggests that the narrative approach explains the way leaders operate in practice. It argues that with a narrative approach one sees that history is used by business leaders in four different ways: as a source to create traditions and symbols as means of communication, as a way to understand and strengthen the identity of the organisation, as means to create corporate memory and as a tool to connect past, present and future. The examples are taken from a Dutch oral history project on management behaviour at multinationals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1265-1287
Number of pages24
JournalBusiness History
Volume55
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Research programs

  • ESSB PA

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