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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

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Volume 28, Issue 3


Narratives in the workplace: Facts, fictions, and canonicity

Alessandra Fasulo / Cristina Zucchermaglio
Published Online: 2008-05-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/TEXT.2008.017


Drawing on a set of workplace interaction corpora, both dyadic and multiparty, we present three narrative forms departing from the established notion of storytelling. These have been called Rewindings, collaborative reconstructions of yet-unknown past events; Fictions, the creation of imaginary scenes; and Templates, condensed versions of experience providing information on unexpected outcomes or controversial occurrences. Without denying specificity to narrative discourse, we extend its definition here to the displacement of the described actions. We propose that, similarly to what is done in other social and human sciences, conversational studies ought to take into consideration the description of events that are not fully known at the onset of narration and that are partially or entirely suggested by the narrators. The study also contributes to the field of workplace studies, providing an illustration of the functioning of distributed cognition and situated knowledge by showing how narrative is a collaborative enterprise facilitating problem solving and the dissemination of competence.

Keywords:: conversational narrative; workplace interaction; participation structure; expert knowledge; fictional narrative; canonicity

About the article

Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, University ‘La Sapienza’, Via dei Marsi 78, 00185 Rome, Italy.

Published Online: 2008-05-27

Published in Print: 2008-05-01

Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 28, Issue 3, Pages 351–376, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/TEXT.2008.017.

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