The Stakeholder's Journey:Employing the Hero's Journey to Analyze and Generate Organizational Myths

Dan Andrews*, Ahmad Beltagui, Tim Baines

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished Conference Paperpeer-review


Research into organizational storytelling has been associated with engaging stakeholders from the outset, with the myth being the focus of much of this work. Yet, few methods exist based on myths that managers can use to engage stakeholders. For this paper, we have conducted a review into organizational myths adopting the lens of the practicing manager exploring organizational change. This informs our proposed conceptual framework for analyzing and generating organizational myths inspired by the Hero’s Journey; a popular structure of myths inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell. We propose four ‘pillars’ of organizational myths in this framework: content, context, roles, and performance, through which meaning is generated over time. We have used this framework in workshops to teach senior executives from large, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as MBA students, to critically reflect upon how organizational myths are used to engage stakeholders. To encourage workshop participants to create their own engaging stories, we have developed a toolkit that aligns our framework with the Hero’s Journey. We call this toolkit the Stakeholder’s Journey, as it encourages managers to empathize with their stakeholders by placing them in the role of the Hero. We discuss the application of our framework and toolkit, and their potential to encourage meaningful engagement with stakeholders in future work.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019
EventAcademy of Management Meeting - San Antonio, Texas
Duration: 1 Aug 2011 → …


ConferenceAcademy of Management Meeting
Period1/08/11 → …


  • Organizational change
  • Hero's Journey
  • Myth
  • Stakeholder engagement


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