Title: The power of stories (I): a discussion of why stories are powerful

Authors: Loick Roche, John Sadowsky

Addresses: Groupe ESC Grenoble, Grenoble Ecole de Management, 12 rue Pierre-Sémard, B.P. 127, 38003 Grenoble Cedex 1, France. ' Groupe ESC Grenoble, Grenoble Ecole de Management, 12 rue Pierre-Sémard, B.P. 127, 38003 Grenoble Cedex 1, France

Abstract: In this paper, the authors discuss the compelling power of stories and storytelling. After reviewing some of the most important literature about storytelling, they focus on four principal reasons for the power of story. First, stories are universal, crossing boundaries of language, culture and age. Second, they mirror human thought. All evidence from neurology and psychology leads to the conclusion that humans think in narrative structures. Concepts conveyed in story form – more than ideas explained with logic and analysis – imprint themselves naturally into human minds. Third, stories define who we are. Our sense of identity is forged by the stories we tell ourselves, the ones we come to believe and those we choose to dismiss. Fourth, stories build and preserve a group|s sense of community. Stories align and motivate by portraying the world in vivid terms that build emotional connections among constituents, giving them a sense of shared purpose.

Keywords: story; storytelling; identity; community; communication.

DOI: 10.1504/IJITM.2003.004233

International Journal of Information Technology and Management, 2003 Vol.2 No.4, pp.377 - 388

Published online: 05 Apr 2004 *

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