A Familiar History : Corporate History And Employee Identification

1525 WordsApr 1, 20157 Pages
A familiar history: Corporate history and employee identification in family firms Badr Hadrioui (# 9761519) Mark Bellison lives in an alternate world where people haven’t developed the ability to lie and are thus unacquainted with fibs, noble lies, white lies, deceit, half-truths, and all sorts of dishonesty. In a world free of falsehoods, fiction is impossible and thus the entire movie industry consists in history lectures and depressingly blunt commercials. This is the premise of the 2009 movie The Invention of Lying. The assumption made in this movie, however, is that history is an objective and accurate rendition of the past. Most historians would disagree and argue that history is always an interpretation of the past (Carr, 1961; Kieser, 1994), and organizations are well aware of this. Wrigley, Coca Cola, Wells Fargo, Ben & Jerry’s, and MolsonCoors, for example, have all “interpreted” their past by glorifying their success and glossing over the more awkward and embarrassing events. This practice of showcasing organizational history in the best possible light is a potent form of storytelling and serves as a rhetorical tool to persuade relevant stakeholders (Ooi, 2002; Suddaby, Foster, & Trank, 2010). It comes as no surprise, then, that most organizations narrate their history, be it through corporate anniversaries, museums, or publications (Delahaye, Booth, Clark, Procter, & Rowlinson, 2009; Nissley & Casey, 2002). This is true for all types organizations, even (and
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