chapter  6
11 Pages

Storytelling

The power and influence of narrative learning
ByDavid Bentley

The projection of past experience gains expression in the form of propositional knowledge and learning. The storytelling, the learning by analogy and through the knowledge of others' mistakes that is captured by those stories, carries a wisdom that is far richer than pure logic. The move to propositional knowledge was contemporary with the spread of the written word made possible by the invention of the printing press. The ability to then publish texts widely allowed the dissemination of the presumed universal laws and changed the focus of learning from the spoken word to the written word. So, whilst the formal communication process in organisations is essentially propositional, the form of learning that makes sense of the communication is narrative. The everyday world is a complex interrelationship between individuals, all of whom follow a social and personal agenda of self-interest. Behaviour is governed by perceptions derived from experience and the resolution of paradox and conflicting emotions from birth.