From ‘Less Landfilling’ to ‘Wasting Less’: Societal narratives, socio-materiality, and organizations

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T1 - From ‘Less Landfilling’ to ‘Wasting Less’: Societal narratives, socio-materiality, and organizations

AU - Corvellec, Hervé

AU - Hultman, Johan

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - Abstract in Undetermined Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to show that organizational change depends on societal narratives - narratives about the character, history, or envisioned future of societies. Design/methodology/approach - A case study of a Swedish municipal waste management company serves as an illustration. Findings - Swedish waste governance is powered by two main narratives: "less landfilling" and "wasting less". Less landfilling has been the dominant narrative for several decades, but wasting less is gaining momentum, and a new narrative order is establishing itself. This new narrative order significantly redefines the socio-material status of waste and imposes major changes on waste management organizations. Research limitations/implications - Based on the case of waste governance in Sweden, the authors conclude that organizations should be aware that societal narrative affects the legitimacy and nature of their operations; therefore, they must integrate a watch for narrative change in their strategic reflections. Originality/value - This paper establishes the relevance of the notion of societal narrative to understand organizational change.

AB - Abstract in Undetermined Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to show that organizational change depends on societal narratives - narratives about the character, history, or envisioned future of societies. Design/methodology/approach - A case study of a Swedish municipal waste management company serves as an illustration. Findings - Swedish waste governance is powered by two main narratives: "less landfilling" and "wasting less". Less landfilling has been the dominant narrative for several decades, but wasting less is gaining momentum, and a new narrative order is establishing itself. This new narrative order significantly redefines the socio-material status of waste and imposes major changes on waste management organizations. Research limitations/implications - Based on the case of waste governance in Sweden, the authors conclude that organizations should be aware that societal narrative affects the legitimacy and nature of their operations; therefore, they must integrate a watch for narrative change in their strategic reflections. Originality/value - This paper establishes the relevance of the notion of societal narrative to understand organizational change.

KW - Society

KW - Narratives

KW - Sweden

KW - Waste management

KW - Social change

KW - Sustainability

KW - Organizational change

KW - Organizational processes

U2 - 10.1108/09534811211213964

DO - 10.1108/09534811211213964

M3 - Article

VL - 25

SP - 297

EP - 314

JO - Journal of Organizational Change Management

JF - Journal of Organizational Change Management

SN - 0953-4814

IS - 2

ER -