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Spinning stories: Communicating internationalization through organizational storytelling

Author: Laufer, M.
Published in: Journal of Studies in International Education, 1-15
Year: 2019
Type: Academic articles
DOI: 10.1177/1028315319893652

Despite the positive outcomes often associated with internationalization, internal stakeholders do not always welcome the changes it brings. This reaction is echoed in the numerous studies highlighting the problematic relationships between international and local students and the critical to resistant reactions among faculty members. In response to these challenges, this study explores organizational storytelling as a method for communicating internationalization within universities. Organizational storytelling has been found to be a powerful tool for sensemaking, reducing resistance, and generating support during organizational change processes. This study follows how a university taskforce employed three story templates—the Principle Story, the Approval Story, and the Unexceptional Story—to communicate about and implement a large-scale internationalization project in a diverse and change resistant university environment. Although sharing similarities, these storylines were given different “spins” by storytellers depending on their position and the intended audience as well as influenced by the university culture.

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Melissa Laufer, Dr.

Head of Research Programme: Knowledge & Society

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