Born on: September 5, 1999

Title of this web page -->Narrative Methods for Organizational and Communication Research
by David M. Boje, Ph.D.
Purpose: a web resource library of qualitative materials, exercises, and study guides to supplement the (2001) book titled Narrative Methods for Organizational and Communication Research. London: Sage Publications. See Amazon to order book and/or read book review.

Each module on this web site will tackle a different analysis in Narrative Analysis for Management and Communication Research (hereafter NA). Then we situate that analysis in its philosophy of science context - (press here) for summary table.

Readings Index & Abbreviations Explained (All Modules)

  1. NA Narrative Analysis for Management and Communication Research (book) by Boje (2001) the modules that follow are keyed to the chapters of this book.
  2. HQR: Handbook of Qualitative Research by Denzin & Lincoln (can buy the soft cover books; excellent book for background on methods and qualitative philosophies of science).
  3. ES: Ethnostatistics by Gephart (this book transcends all false dichotomies of qualitative and quantitative).
  4. WC: Writing Culture by Clifford & Marcus (optional good for intermediate).
  5. PO: Participant Observation by Spradley (optional good for beginners).
  6. GC: Greening Culture by Herndl & Brown (optional great for very advanced QM writing).
  7. FG: Focus Group text by Krueger (required for Marketing, optional for others).
Background Reading for this Module (bold = required).

MODULE 5 INTERTEXTUALITY (Continued)  - there is a floating menu on your left that takes you between modules or to the top of this one.

Intertextuality Analysis - Part I - Horizontal Axis

The usual qualitative (content/theme) analysis naively compares one bounded, object text to another to assess similarities and differences of attributes. But, there is a whole other class of narrative analyses where a text is unbounded, a tapestry and a weave of strands that has both a horizontal and vertical analyses of prior and anticipated dynamic relations to other texts you can explore. The philosophy of science home for the horizontal axis (historicity) is in Semiotics. You task is to learn both the analysis and the philosophy of science. How? Do the assignment, read the articles, and explore the web links on Semiotics.

INTERTEXTUALITY "is a web of complex inter-relationships ensnaring each story's historicity and situational context between other stories" (Boje, 2001: 91). Few antenarratives become full-fledged narratives or long-lived stories with coherent structures and fashionable impact.

ANTENARRATIVE - "Intertextuality is antenarrative since instead of a homogeneous narrative, each text is theorized as a network of fragments that refer to still outer narrative texts" (Boje, 2001: 74).  The antenarrative dynamics of intertextuality include how texts are suspended in webs of intertextual production, distribution and consumption.  Horizontally, the antenarrative is a flight of a gentle butterfly that moves temporally from one text to another. Sometimes this flight of emergence self-organizes into the perfect storm. We see the path of connectivity in retrospective historicity.  See ENRON ANTENARRATIVES

A. Based on readings, please analyze the (Horizontal Axis) intertextual aspects of several of the press releases listed below. Begin by asking analytic questions from Figure One in NA book (if links are broken do google search and find better ones).

Please see - Example of Intertextual Analysis of Spectacle: Enron

More Background - The horizontal axis of Intertextuality Analysis is the link between author and reader, who gets quoted or summarized and author interpretations in network of relationships between textual utterances (images too) and other texts (references, citations, quotes, summaries). There is an ongoing dynamic textual production process, of which each utterance and the text itself is a moment.  I call this historicity, you may prefer to call it citation. It is how the text is designed and constructed and produced as an intertext or tapestry. There is also a second axis you can analyze, the vertical which is the context of each utterance in a text that draws it into its intertextual web (e.g. by irony, satire, juxtaposition). This we will cover in Part II. Bakhtin started this analysis, then Kristeva gave it flesh, and it is also part of Barthes' focus. You find such analysis in advertising, literary theory, and in organizational analysis (e.g. Fairclough). The philosophical roots include semiotics (sign systems), poststructuralism (its all text), and postmodernism (death of the authoritarian author). Point: each analysis has its own intertextuality, its own historicity and contextualization in philosophies of (social) science. This is how Kristeva (1980) puts it together:
The word's status is thus defined horizontally (the word in the text belongs to both writing subject and addressee) as well as vertically (the word in the text is oriented towards an anterior or synchronic literary corpus) . . . each word (text) is an intersection of words (texts) where at least one other word (text) can be read . . . any text is constructed as a mosaic of quotations; any text is the absorption and transformation of another.

Readings (*=required):

Intertextuality Studies in Organization and Communication Studies:

Web Documents (This is a good and quick way to get an overview of the topic). 

Now that you know something of Semiotics, it is time to turn to the main topic, Intertextuality. More Resources (should you want to dig deeper):

Intertextuality Analysis Part II - Vertical Axis

As we move a citation or quote from one text to another we cut off its social, political, and economic context in ways that transform meaning in radical ways. "We will focus on how the assumptions are formed within a social/political/historical context, and how all "texts" are intertwined within these systems" (press here).  In this analysis we unravel the intertextual weave of textual production, distribution, and consumption. No text is an island it is produced in streams of production and ready to read in its consumption. I call it verticality. 


Assignment - Do a Vertical Intertextual Analysis of several Press Releases listed last week. Here are some initial questions (press here). Follow on with a hegemony analysis (See Boje, Luhman & Baak).

Please review - Example of Intertextual Analysis of Spectacle: Enron. Enron is rich in antenarrative traces. Here we are concerned with the vertical flight of the antenarrative as it creates invisible traces in hegemonic ways. The vertical dimension of intertextuality is what Freire (1970: 93) calls “concentric circles moving from the general to the particular.”  Or, from the local to the superstructures that dominate our sensemaking with collective conscious illusion. An intertextual antenarrative can either resist ideological control or be a way to ensnare us into the web.  

More Background - I did some re-reading of Kristeva (1980: 65) and found it was on  Bakhtin's dialogic of text and context and particularly his concepts of the polyphonic and carnivalesque novels that Kristeva demarcated intertextual from structural or comparative analyses. Kristeva (1980: 78) says carnival is the double, "it is a spectacle, but without a stage; a game, but also a daily undertaking; a signifier, but also a signified."  The context of the carnival is the crowd, the stage, the actors, and the game itself.

Intertextuality analysis has moved carnival aside. For example, I note that Fairclough's (1992) approach to intertextuality analysis does not include carnivalesque, but instead gives it a different (and still useful) twist. For Fairclough the bottom line is a hegemonic analysis of intertextuality. With this move he resituates intertextuality analysis into the philosophy of critical theory, into the vertical axis of not only context but power.

Readings *=required

Web Resources More Materials (should you want to explore)


MODULE - 6 (narrative) Causality Analysis      or (use menu to your left)