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In this contribution, we place narrative theory in conversation with narrative practice to offer a small storymaking approach for engendering organizational change. Drawing on insights from counter-narrative studies, small story analysis, and communicative approaches to organizational change, we offer an applied narratology that conceptualizes organizational change as occurring in small storymaking practices. Embracing discourse and communication as constitutive of organizations, we invite narrative scholars to move beyond traditional distanced researcher positions to participate more actively in the co-creation of small stories and thus enable more participatory, collaborative organizational change practices. Rather than merely interpreting organizational stories, as in many traditional narrative studies, our applied narratology encourages researchers to invite organizational participants to co-create stories of their potential futures. Through this tension-filled practice of organizational small storymaking, narrative researchers and leaders can generate the ‘small story openings’ necessary to inspire innovative change.


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