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The Uniqueness Paradox in Organizational Stories
Joanne Martin, Martha S. Feldman, Mary Jo Hatch and Sim B. Sitkin
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 28, No. 3, Organizational Culture (Sep., 1983), pp. 438-453
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. on behalf of the Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2392251
Page Count: 16
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Organizational cultures, and in particular stories, carry a claim to uniqueness - that an institution is unlike any other. This paper argues that a culture's claim to uniqueness is, paradoxically, expressed through cultural manifestations, such as stories, that are not in fact unique. We present seven types of stories that make a tacit claim to uniqueness. We show that these seven stories occur, in virtually identical form, in a wide variety of organizations. We then suggest why these stories have proliferated while others have not.
Administrative Science Quarterly © 1983 Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University