Whose change is it? A longitudinal study of the outcomes of an organisational theatre event

Linda Matula, Stefan Meisiek, Richard J. Badham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


Research in organisational theatre as a method to foster organisational change and its application has increased over the past years. Despite the interest in the field, longitudinal studies of the potential of the method remain scarce in organisation studies. We conducted a longitudinal, in-depth qualitative case study, combining interview, participant observation and document analysis data to illuminate the outcomes of an organisational theatre event. The study contributes to organisational theatre literature, as well as to broader debates on polyphony in organisations. We found that stakeholders’ multi-voiced interpretations of the theatre went beyond the formal purpose of the intervention. Their outcomes and the conclusions they drew from the play lead to a debate on and a shift in participants' perception of the polyphonic character of and power distribution within their team and the wider organisation. We consider that existing research on organisational theatre has been limited in its depth and therefore in its conclusions. The study indicates that organisational theatre cannot just stimulate polyphonic discussions, but also that these multi-voiced dialogues can have diverse effects on how polyphony is perceived by those holding more or less power in organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPapers from the 29th EGOS Colloquium 2013
Subtitle of host publicationBridging continents, cultures & worldviews
Place of PublicationMontréal, Canada
PublisherEuropean Group for Organization Studies (EGOS)
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventEuropean Group for Organization Studies Colloquium (29th : 2013) - Montréal, Canada
Duration: 4 Jul 20136 Jul 2013


ConferenceEuropean Group for Organization Studies Colloquium (29th : 2013)
CityMontréal, Canada


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