Don’t take narratives for granted, they are not always valuable

[Deutscher Titel: Betrachten Sie Erzählungen nicht als selbstverständlich, sie sind nicht immer wertvoll (Text übersetzen: Deutsch)]

Daniel Geiger
The dark side of narratives: challenging the epistemological nature of narrative knowledge
International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy 2008 – Vol. 3, No.1 pp. 66 – 81

Abstract: This article presents an attempt to reproblematise certain aspects of narratives in organisations which are too often taken for granted. The epistemological nature of narrative knowledge is explored by referring to a distinction between discursive and narrative knowledge drawn by the French philosopher Lyotard. Narrative knowledge is characterised as a kind of verbal life-world knowledge that is non-reflexive in character by contrast to discursive knowledge which is based on reasons and therefore argumentative and reflexive in nature. Recent literature on narrative knowledge sharing has concentrated almost exclusively on the bright side of narrative knowledge as valuable category, in this article it is argued that there is a dark side as well that deserves attention. The narrative/discursive distinction allows a discussion of the dark sides of narratives and narrative knowledge and might serve as a fruitful epistemological framework for our understanding of narrative knowledge.

Keywords: discursive knowledge; epistemology; knowledge sharing; narrative knowledge; narratives.

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