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PhD Course: Narrative research. A turn, a method, a paradigm? Combined PhD course and conference participation

Update:  The PhD course will take place as a virtual seminar with assignments adjusted accordingly
Date: May 26-27, 2020
Time: May 26, 2020 - 09:00-16:00 (Intro, PhD Workshop)
May 27, 2020 - 09:00-16:00 (Conference)
Place: May, 26, 2020 in meetingroom Sokrates, SDU, Campus Odense
May 27, 2020 in meetingroom Romeo, SDU, Campus Odense
Language Language of teaching: English  
Accommodation and
CNS provides breakfast, snacks and coffee. 
Lunch and accommodation is to be paid by the participants independently. 
Participation in the conference will be free of charge for registered and accepted PhD students.  

For accommodation we recommend Dalum Landbrugsskole, an affordable venue close to the 
Campus. (Please refer to SDU when booking. Link
 Registration Due to the large interest our PhD courses receive we have to limit the number of participants to 12 for this course. 
If you are interested in being on the waiting list please get in touch with Klarissa Lueg.
 Futher information: Refer your questions to: 
Klarissa Lueg at or Anne Gerdes at  


PhD Course: Narrative research. A turn, a method, a paradigm? Combined PhD course and conference participation  


Klarissa Lueg (SDU, course responsible), Ann Bager (AAU)

Guests: David Boje (New Mexico State University, USA), Kenneth M. Jørgensen (AAU), Michael Bamberg (Clark University, USA)



This PhD course introduces concepts pertaining to narrative inquiry. We connect the ongoing wave of narrative inquiry, especially in organization studies, to a metatheoretical perspective in trying to understand the relevance and reach of narrative research in the academic field. Before giving a general introduction to the notion of “narrative” and its many kin (counter-narrative, antenarrative, parallel narrative, discourse) we discuss narrative inquiry in its quality as a “turn”, a “method” or “toolset” and as a “paradigm” consisting of diverse strands.

This course is unique in its composition as it combines one workshop-day with one day (or more) of participation on the international conference The Role of Narratives and Storytelling in Organizing for Sustainability: Perspectives in Dialogue, May 27th – 29th. This conference will host keynote speakers Michael Bamberg, Clark University, USA, David Boje, NSMU, USA, and AAU, DK, and Kenneth M. Jørgensen, AAU, DK, as well as unite several other experts in the field of recent narrative research. PhD students, on the workshop-day, will meet an overall discussion of narrative inquiry, and engage in discussion of their own work. Then they will have the opportunity to attend the keynote speeches on the conference held by four leading scholars in the broad field of narrative studies: David Boje (New Mexico State University, AAU), Michael Bamberg (Clark University), Kenneth Mølbjerg Jørgensen (AAU) and Yannis Gabriel (Lund University). Tangible tasks will be given to the PhD students and there will be ample opportunity for sparring with speakers and other scholarly participants present.

Together, the different modules of this course form a general introduction to narrative inquiry and how it can be applied in the social sciences and humanities. PhD students will gain insights into how a diversity of narratological concepts can be useful in approaching different subjects of study. They will also learn what methods and instruments (for data collection, analysis etc.) may possibly be applied and how to operationalize them.

The center for narratological studies acknowledges the importance of making conceptual insights publishable for PhD students. We therefore set aside time to discuss possible publishing outlets, publishing strategies and submission routines.

Participants will be asked to send in a short outline of their PhD (max. 350 words) and might be assigned tasks underway. We will distribute and announce the work via email list.

Bios of lecturers and keynote speakers:

Ann Starbæk Bager, PhD, is Associate professor at SDU’s department of Design and Communication. She co-directs the Center for Narratological Studies (CNS) together with Klarissa Lueg and is one of the organizers of the annual storytelling conference. The core of Ann’s research is organizational narrative studies in a discursive and practice-based perspective. She is part of defining the field of organizational discourse and storytelling activism concerning how a discourse based narrative framework can assist organizational reflexivity and change. She is currently publishing on matters of storytelling, power and ethics in relation to topics as organizational and leadership communication and organizational technologization processes. Furthermore, she is author of three chapters in the Routledge Handbook of Counter-Narratives. She has published broadly at publishers and journals such as John Benjamins, Palgrave, Communication and Language at Work (CLaW), Tamara: Journal of Critical Organization Inquiry and Journal of Philosophy of management.   

Klarissa Lueg, Dr. phil. habil, is Associate Professor and co-directs the Center for Narratological Studies (CNS), SDU, together with Ann Starbæk Bager. She is a sociologist working with narrative perspectives, and currently editing the Routledge Handbook of Counter-Narratives, as well as “Narratives of Europeanization”, a special issue of Culture, Practice, and Europeanization (with S. Carlson). She has published broadly within organizational research, culture, and higher education in outlets such as Academy of Management, Learning and Education; Higher Education; Race, Gender & Class; and Communication and Language at Work.


Michael Bamberg has been an important figure in the promotion of a series of different genres of applied linguistic, narrative and identity research. From his dissertation work on the acquisition of narratives, through positioning theory and analysis of narratives, to identity construction in talk-in-interaction, he has contributed varied strands to psychology, applied linguistics, and identity theory. He is the founding editor of the journal Narrative Inquiry through which he supported and encouraged theorizing and research into narrative from differing perspectives for over 20 years. In addition, he also served as the series editor of Studies in Narrative consisting of a series of books at the cutting edge of narrative research. Currently, he is under contract with Cambridge University Press, tasked with the edition of the Cambridge Handbook of Identity (CUP, 2020). After serving his home institution recently as Associate Dean of the College & Director of the Center for Enhancement of Teaching & Learning, he is preparing for his Fulbright Fellowship as Distinguished Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences at the Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan – followed by his sabbatical in 2020.

David Boje, Ph.D., is a Professor at Aalborg University´s Department of Business and Management, and Emeritus Regents Professor at New Mexico State University. He teaches qualitative storytelling science methods. He is editor-in-chief of the Business Storytelling Encyclopedia. Boje gives invited keynote presentations on storytelling science, water crises, and the global climate crisis, all around the world. He is member of the editorial board of the The Systemic Change Journal that is an ongoing conversation about ways of Governing the Anthropocene, and helping to set up a Sustainability Storytelling Lab.

Kenneth Mølbjerg Jørgensen, PhD, is Professor at the Department of Business and Management at Aalborg University. His research interests comprise power, storytelling, ethics and sustainability in organizations. He is currently involved in regional projects concerning sustainability. He is the head of the Sustainable Storytelling Lab at The European School of Governance (EUSG). Kenneth has authored, co-authored and edited numerous books, articles and book chapters in amongst others Scandinavian Journal of Management, Business Ethics – A European Perspective, CBS Press, Sage and Nova.

Instruction Units





Unit 1

Lecture and group work:

  1. Turn, paradigm, method? Mapping narrative inquiry.


2. Introduction to notions of narrative inquiry

26.05.2020, 9.00-12.00

Klarissa Lueg and Ann Bager



Unit 2

3. Methods and analytical schools within narrative inquiry


4. Sparring on PhD students’ cases and theses

26.05.2020, 12.00.-16.00

Ann Bager and Klarissa Lueg





Unit 3

5. Keynotes by David Boje, and/or Michael Bamberg, and /or Kenneth Jørgensen (tba)

6. Tasks for reflection on keynotes and conference input


27.05.2020, 09-16.00



Readings (preliminary)

Boje, David M. (2019). Organizational research: Storytelling in action. London/NY: Routledge.

Boje, D. M.; Rosile, G. A. (in press). How to Use Conversational Storytelling Interviews for Your Dissertation. UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. Download for free until published in 2020 at

Bager, A. S. & Lundholt, M. W. (In press): Organizational Storymaking as Narrative-Small-Story Dynamics: A Combination of Organizational Storytelling Theory and Small Story Analysis. In: The Routledge Handbook of counter-narratives. Routledge. 

Bager, A. S. (2019). Identity dilemmas in organizational change and digitalization processes: a material-discursive study of narrative-small-story dynamics in organizational contexts. Journal of Communication and Language at Work (Claw).

Bamberg, M.G. (1997). Positioning between structure and performance. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 7(1-4), 335-342.


Bamberg, M., & Georgakopoulou, A. (2008). Small stories as a new perspective in narrative and identity analysis. Text & Talk - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse Communication Studies, 28(3), 377-396.


Czarniawska, B. (2007). Chapter 15 Narrative inquiry in and about organizations. In D. J. Clandinin Handbook of Narrative Inquiry: Mapping a Methodology (pp. 383-404). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. doi: 10.4135/9781452226552.n15

Donmoyer, R. (2008). Paradigm. In L. M. Given (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of qualitative research methods (pp. 604-595). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412963909.n306

Hyvärinen,M. (2008) Analyzing narratives and story-telling. In P. Alasuutari, L. Bickman & J. Brannen (eds). The SAGE handbook of social research methods. London: SAGE, 447-460.

Kvernbekk, T. (2003). On identifying narratives. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 22(3), 267-279. doi:10.1023/A:1022869204722

Kvernbekk, T. (2014). Narrative research. In D. Phillips (Ed.), Encyclopedia of educational theory and philosophy (Vol. 1, pp. 565-567). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. doi: 10.4135/9781483346229.n234

Jørgensen, K. M. (2011). Antenarrative writing–Tracing and representing living stories. Storytelling and the

Future of Organizations: An Antenarrative Handbook, 284-297.


Kuhn, T. S. (1970). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.


Lueg, K. (2018). Organizational changes towards a European academic field. A case study of frictions in the narratives of Europeanization at a German university from an institutional perspective. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 31(4), 484-503. doi:10.1080/13511610.2018.1490637

Rantakari, A., & Vaara, E. (2017). Narratives and processuality. Sage Handbook of Process Organization Studies, Sage, London, 271-285.


Toolan, M. (2001). Preliminary orientations. In Toolan, Michael J. Narrative. A critical linguistic introduction London; New York: Routledge, 1-15.




Our events are open free of charge to PhD students from our own program, and from all other programs.’Soon-to-be’ Phd students may also attend with permission from the event instructors and the Program Director, whom you should first contact if this applies to you (Anne Gerdes at We are also very happy if members of staff wish to attend, particularly PhD supervisors, and will accommodate them in lieu of space. We ask all who attend an event to register. You’ll find the online registration form on the same page as the event description.


Sidst opdateret: 07.09.2021