“That's the Postal Service!”: organizational change through employees’ stories
The purpose of this article is to uncover the employees’ perception of organizational change among the Central Administration Apparatus of “Russian Post” through three stories.
Reflecting on participant observation as a Russian Post employee, the paper focuses on three stories told by former colleagues. The theoretical frameworks of organizational “drama” (Czarniawska), “unmanaged organization” (Gabriel) and “storytelling organization” (Boje) are applied through the narrative analysis to link the macro-context of organizational performance with the micro-practices of its various actors.
The stories of organizational change perceived by employees allow analysing how managerial decisions are translated and reflected in the actions of lower-level staff members of the Central Administration Apparatus, how employees experience the process of organizational change and make sense out of it. The three stories reflect implicit frictions, such us: competing interests and contradict actions of participants at geographically and hierarchically distanced units (the knitted doilies story); dissatisfaction with personnel reshuffle and shifts in the organizational structure (the “poisoned chalice” story); lack of organizational and institutional cohesiveness, miscommunication with the external environment (the butter story).
The paper compares three approaches to organizational stories and narratives to demonstrate their explanatory potential. Some peculiarities of the research object are demonstrated and analysed during organizational change.