Conflicts between founder and CEO narratives: Counter-narrative, character and identification in organisational changes

Per Krogh Hansen*, Marianne Wolff Lundholt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Corporate communication has long been viewed through the lens of narrative and storytelling. Over time, a wide variety of conceptions have been developed in this field with respect to the special circumstances regarding the organisational communicative situation, which differs from other materialisations of narrative. In this article, however, we will explore the value of a more general approach, which pays attention to some of the recurring features of narrative across media and communicative situations. We will approach organisational narrative through common analytical and narratological concepts such as master narrative and counter-narrative, character, identification and actantial roles. Specifically, we investigate the organisational change in the Danish-owned multinational company Danfoss and examine how the materialisation of a founder narrative and a CEO master narrative each evoke different expectations, reactions and counter-narratives among the employees. Our empirical material consists of public communication in, from and around the organisation, and focus group interviews conducted at Danfoss China.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers of Narrative Studies
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)94-111
Publication statusPublished - 2019



  • Counter-narratives
  • Organisational communication
  • Organisational storytelling
  • founder narratives

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