Tamara: Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry

Many shades of “green”: An exploration of sustainability storytelling across and within university organizations

Conner, Suzanne Lynn Fischbach, Sarah

American University in Dubai | University of Hawaii at Minoa

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Researchers apply theories by Boje and the storytelling community to further understand how organizations, specifically universities, portray themselves on different fronts through storytelling in regard to sustainability. The current study expands the existing knowledge regarding stories (i.e. narrative, living story, antenarrative, and microstoria) by the synergies and lack thereof between them and demonstrates how organizations need to portray a unified image since stories can, and do, shape the physical, objective world. Two complementary studies are conducted to explore the sustainability story of university campuses. In Study One, three southwestern university campuses are explored through campus tour narratives. Study Two looks in-depth at one university to help understand how the story is told from inside the organization which leads to what is observed by the final consumer. Several inconsistencies are found on how the story is told to prospective students. The storytelling theories presented in this paper expand knowledge by providing insight into how one individual may change the perspective of sustainability and the lasting effects this may cause. Being present on several campuses paints a picture of how vastly different the stories told to potential students are. Applying the theories of narrative, living story, and antenarrative may help explain how synergic a university presents its sustainability objective to prospective students.


Czasopismo Tamara: Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry 
Tom 11 
Numer 3 
Data wydania 2013 
Typ Article 
Język en
Paginacja 27-43
ISSN 1532-5555