Learning by telling: Storytelling workshops as an organizational learning intervention

Tineke A. Abma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Organizational learning in this article is understood as a collective and relational process in which groups of persons are gaining knowledge and appreciation of issues through stories and an ongoing dialogue between stories. This notion forms the departure-point for the identification and implementation of an organizational learning intervention that aims to facilitate learning through storytelling workshops. The value and meaning of these storytelling workshops are illustrated with a case that deals with the development of palliative care for cancer patients among various health care organizations in an eastern part of the Netherlands. What kinds of stones were added to the existing set of stories, and how the storytelling process and the confrontation with counter stories contributed to the reflection on and reconstruction of canonized stories are described in detail. The article concludes with insights for organizational learning gained from storytelling in palliative care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-240
Number of pages20
JournalManagement Learning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2003

Cite this