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Title: The use of storytelling as transfer of knowledge
Authors: Leung, Ka Lam Jodith
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Storytelling is a knowledge management approach that facilitates knowledge transfer. Few studies of knowledge transfer and storytelling examine stories and the knowledge these stories carry. To fill this research gap, the first aim of the current study to develop a paradigm that reveals the knowledge carried by stories through a systemic analysis of their content is established. As the recipient of knowledge, the story receiver is also a stakeholder in the storytelling process. However, the examination of the knowledge gained by story receivers as an approach to understanding knowledge transfer has been neglected by studies of storytelling. In this regard, the second aim of this study to examine the holistic flow of storytelling, including the deliver and receiver sides, to discover means of using storytelling as an approach to knowledge transfer in organisations is arrived at based on this gap. Both aims can facilitate the empirical discovery of the uses of stories and storytelling that contribute to organisations. The empirical implementation of this study is divided into two phases to respond to the research aims. To achieve the first aim, a modified narrative analysis is proposed and applied in Phase 1 empirical component. This modified narrative analysis uses a qualitative deductive approach to systematically examine the knowledge carried by stories. Narrative theory and story schema theory are adopted as the bases for coding themes. Twenty-three stories were collected from seven semi-structured interviews, six of which were selected for analysis according to certain criteria. The interviewees are management staff of construction projects; thus, the six stories used present a rich context related to construction management issues. Managing activities in projects is similar to managing temporary organisations. The findings of this phase are significant to managerial issues in organisations. To achieve the second aim, cognitive mapping is used as a medium in the Phase 2 to qualitatively study the knowledge gained by individuals after they listen to collected stories. Cognitive maps were collected from members of construction project teams in story-listening workshops. Phase 1 finds that the knowledge carried by stories is conceptual and contextual in nature and corresponds to the literacy context and significant causalities. Phase 2 offers two findings on the collected cognitive maps: First, individuals want to understand stories in schematic and characterised patterns. Second, individuals can gain knowledge about experiences, the story context, the cognition of the storytellers, and story reflections. The conceptual and contextual knowledge revealed from story content provides new dimensions and methods for investigating story knowledge. This finding provides promising recommendations for treating conceptual and contextual knowledge as organisational knowledge assets. The effective elicitation of contextual knowledge resolves the theoretical issue of the stickiness of narrative knowledge. On the other hand, the effective elicitation of conceptual knowledge suggests that an enriched literary context of a story is essential for knowledge transfer. The findings from phases 1 and 2 complete a holistic study of storytelling as a knowledge transfer approach that includes both delivery and receive sides. These findings also confirm that stories and storytelling have significant impacts to knowledge creation context.
Subjects: Storytelling.
Knowledge management.
Communication in organizations.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: xi, 230 leaves ; 30 cm
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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