[I-LanD Research Centre] Call for Papers I-LanD Journal - Special Issue (2021, n. 1): "Narrating and Communicating Business 'Stories' - Multifaceted Approaches to Corporate Communication"

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I-LanD Journal - Identity, Language and Diversity
International Peer-Reviewed E-Journal

Call for Papers for the Special Issue (1/2021)

Narrating and Communicating Business 'Stories' - Multifaceted Approaches to
Corporate Communication

This special issue of the I-LanD Journal will focus on narratives aimed at
asserting and promoting corporate identities. It will be edited by Paola
Catenaccio (University of Milan, Italy), Stefania D'Avanzo (University of
Campania 'L. Vanvitelli', Italy), Geert Jacobs (Ghent University, Belgium).

Submission of abstracts
Authors wishing to contribute to this issue are invited to send an extended
abstract of their proposed article ranging between 600 and 1.000 words
(excluding references) in MS Word format to the three editors by October 20,
2020. Proposals should not contain the authors' name and
academic/professional affiliation and should be accompanied by an email
including such personal information and sent to: paola.catenaccio at unimi.it;
stefania.davanzo at unicampania.it; geert.jacobs at ugent.be. Please put as
subject line "I-LanD Special Issue 1/2021 - abstract submission", and
include the Journal e-mail address - ilandjournal at unior.it - by using the Cc

Important dates

In order to meet the editorial process, the most important dates to remember
are as follows:

- Submission of abstracts: October 20, 2020

- Notification of acceptance/rejection: November 10, 2020

- Submission of chapters: March 10, 2021


As a central feature of human experience and understanding, storytelling
plays a central role in all areas of human activity. Since the so-called
"narrative turn" (Smith 1981; Bruner 1987, 1991; Labov/Waletsky 1997;
Hyvärinen 1997, 1998; Ryan 2005; Meretoja 2014) in the last decade of the
past century, narrative inquiry has been used across a variety of
disciplines, ranging from anthropology to psychiatry, to politics, to
healthcare, where storytelling has been both an object and a method of
research. A field that has particularly benefited from the growing interest
for storytelling has been that of corporate discourse, where one of the key
functions of storytelling is argued to be that of constructing and
maintaining corporate collective identity. Such collective identity [
"'resides' in the collective identity stories that, for example, people tell
to each other in their conversations, write into corporate histories, and
encode on websites” (Brown 2006: 734). More specifically, from a narrative
perspective, organizations' identities are identified as discursive
linguistic constructs constituted by the multiple identity-relevant
narratives that their participants author about them, and which feature, for
example, in documents, conversations and electronic media (Brown 2006).
Thus, narratives can be performative, as they are "speech acts 'bringing
into existence a social reality that did not exist before their utterance'
(Ford and Ford 1995). This conceptualisation of storytelling has a long
history, and derives from social constructionist and critical studies which
have suggested that narratives are the products of particular contexts
(Gabriel 1995), that fragments of narrative intertextually dialogue with,
quote from and anticipate other narratives (Fairclough 1992), and that
organizations literally are narratives (Cooren 1999) or antenarrative
networks of dynamic and unfinished stories (Boje 2001).


Corporate narratives can therefore emerge from individual narratives, but
also exist in their own right, as institutionalized stories which can play
key roles across a broad range of corporate functions and communication
activities (Clifton/Schnurr/Van De Mieroop 2020). The uses of corporate
narratives besides and beyond identity building and maintenance have been
attracting considerable interest in recent years. For instance, a recent
study by Riviezzo et al. (2015) has shown the close connection existing
between the orientation of the personal storytelling of Italian family firm
owners and the persuasive strategies enacted in the companies' promotional
discourse, suggesting that storytelling plays a role - however indirect - in
defining marketing strategies and constructing promotional identities.

Storytelling has also been shown to be crucial in the construction of
corporate ethos and the communication of Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR) engagement. For instance, transmedia storytelling has been analysed as
a lens for understanding and guiding the use of various social media
channels in the distribution of CSR communication (Coombs 2019), and CSR
storytelling has been explored as a strategy to shape stakeholders
understanding of social responsibility and manage impressions about CSR
conduct (Paynter/Halabi/Tuck 2019: 205).

The above-mentioned studies also bring to the fore the changing nature of
corporate storytelling. Traditionally conceived as entrusted to sequential
narrative forms, often in exclusively verbal mode (albeit frequently
accompanied by supporting images), storytelling has progressively become
less linear as digitalized forms of communication have gained importance.
For instance, the innovative use of storytelling in social media, especially
on Twitter, resulted to be extremely effective in legitimacy diffusion as
the storytelling elements, specifically cognitive, pragmatic and emotional
elements influenced the extent on diffusion as well as network density and
eigenvector centrality (Phillips/Rutherford/Moore 2019). Finally,
storytelling is currently conceived as a publishable, screenable and
sharable digital resource, often involving multimodal features (Gachago
2015). Thus, the multimodal dimension, defined as the employment of several
semiotic modes in the design of a semiotic product or event, along with the
way in which these modes are combined (Kress/Van Leeuwen 2001) can provide
us with novel insights into the narrative effects of the interplay of the
multiple semiotic processes (Kress/Van Leeuwen 2001) employed on corporate
websites in order to assert or promote corporate identity.

In this scenario, this issue aims to present a variety of approaches and
methodologies to be applied to storytelling and narrative analysis in
corporate communication from both corporate and discourse studies

The editors are particularly interested in bringing to the fore the possible
'encounters' between linguistic and corporate studies in terms of
investigation of promotional strategies and corporate identity through a
variety of methodological lenses. The questions contributors are called upon
to consider, analyse and debate include, but are not limited to, the

- To what extent do narrative approaches contribute to corporate identity
and promotion?

- What are the relevant features characterizing storytelling in corporate

- How has corporate storytelling evolved due to its application to social

Possible areas of inquiry may include, but are not limited to:

- Narratives in corporate communication

- Corporate discourse communication

- Corporate Storytelling & Social media

- Multimodal approaches to business communication

- CDA & Corporate Discourse

- CSR communication& Corporate Storytelling

- Appraisal approaches to business communication


Boje, D. M. 2001. Narrative Methods for Organizational and Communication
Research. London: Sage.

Brown, A. D. 2006. A narrative approach to Collective Identities. Journal of
Management Studies, 43:4, 733-753.

Bruner, J. 1987. Life as narrative. Social Research 54 (1),11-32.

Bruner, J. 1991. The narrative construction of reality. Critical Inquiry 18,

Clifton, J. / Schnurr, S. / Van De Mieroop, D. 2020. The Language of
Leadership Narratives. A Social Practice Perspective. London: Routledge.

Coombs, T. 2019 Transmedia storytelling: a potentially vital resource for
CSR communication. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 24:2,

Cooren, F. 1999. Applying socio-semiotics to organizational communication, a
new approach. Management Communication Quarterly, 13, 294-304.

Phillips, D. et al. 2019. New Venture Legitimacy Diffusion: The Role of
Storytelling and Social Networks, Academy of Management Proceedings 1

Fairclough, N. 1992. Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Ford, J. D. & Ford, L. W. 1995. The role of conversations in producing
intentional change in organizations. Academy of Management Review, 19,

Gabriel, Y. 1995. The unmanaged organization. Stories, fantasies, and
subjectivity. Organization Studies, 16, 477-501.

Gachago, D. 2015. Sentimentality and digital storytelling: towards a
post-conflict pedagogy in pre-service teacher education in South Africa (PhD
Thesis). University of Cape Town.

Hyvärinen, M. 1994. Viimeiset taistot [The LastBattles]. Tampere:

Hyvärinen, M. 1998. Thick and thin narratives: Thickness of description,
expectation, and causality. In Denzin N.K (ed.). Cultural Studies: A
Research Volume, Stamford: JAI Press, 49-174.

Kress, G. / Van Leeuwen T. 2001. Multimodal discourse. London: Hodder

Labov, W./ Waletsky, J. 1997. Narrative analysis: oral versions of personal
experience. Journal of Narrative and Life History 7 (1-4), 3-38.

Meretoja, H. 2014. The narrative turn in fiction and theory. London:
Palgrave Macmillan.

Paynter, M. et al 2019. Storytelling and Corporate Social Responsibility
Reporting: A Review. The Components of Sustainable Development: Engagement
and Partnership, 205-230.

Ryan, M. L. 2005. Narrative. In Herman, D. / Ryan M.J & M.L. Routledge
Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory. London and New York: Routledge, 195-204

Riviezzo et al. 2015. Moving forward or running to standstill? Exploring the
nature and the role of family firms' strategic orientation. Journal of
Family Business Strategy 6, 190-205.

Smith, B. H. 1981. Narrative version, and narrative theories. In Mitchell,
W.J.T. On Narrative. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 228.

More about I-LanD Journal

Editors in chief:
Giuditta Caliendo (University of Lille) and M. Cristina Nisco (University of
Naples Parthenope)

Advisory board:
Giuseppe Balirano (University of Naples "L'Orientale")
Marina Bondi (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)
Delia Chiaro (University of Bologna)
David Katan (University of Salento)
Don Kulick (Uppsala University)
Tommaso Milani (University of Gothenburg)
Oriana Palusci (University of Naples "L'Orientale")
Paul Sambre (KU Leuven)
Srikant Sarangi (Aalborg University)
Christina Schäffner (Professor Emerita at Aston University)
Vivien Schmidt (Boston University)
Stef Slembrouck (Gent University)
Marina Terkourafi (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Girolamo Tessuto (University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli")
Johann Unger (Lancaster University)

The I-LanD Journal (http://www.unior.it/index2.php?content_id=15279
&content_id_start=1&titolo=i-land-journal&parLingua=ENG) reflects a
commitment to publishing original and high-quality research papers
addressing issues of identity, language and diversity from new critical and
theoretical perspectives. All submissions are double-blind peer-reviewed. In
fulfillment of its mission, the I-LanD Journal provides an outlet for
publication to international practitioners, with a view to disseminating and
enhancing scholarly studies on the relation between language and
ethnic/cultural identity, language and sexual identity/gender, as well as on
forms of language variation derived from instances of
contamination/hybridization of different genres, discursive practices and
text types.

I-LanD Research Centre

Università di Napoli "L'Orientale"
Palazzo S. Maria Porta Coeli
Via Duomo, 219 - 80138 Naples
Room 1.23 
ph. +39 081 6909861
website: http://www.unior.it/ateneo/14038/1/i-land-research-centre.html

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