Understanding the Role of Organizational Storytelling in HRD: A Literature review

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student in Human Resource Management, Faculty of Management and Economic, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Prof., Faculty of Management and Economic, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Associate Prof., Faculty of Management and Economic, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

4 4. Prof., Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to show the relevance of storytelling for HRD. This paper, according to Creswell’s thematic literature review (Creswell, 2008), provides a literature based rationale for adopting organizational storytelling as a powerful and effective HRD tool in which stories can help HRD practitioners to achieve HRD purposes. In this paper, journal articles, written on storytelling, in English, were reviewed. The gathered information from literature demonstrates several positive applications of storytelling, e.g. as a tool for learning, training, motivation and behavioral changes that are relevant to HRD and its purposes. However, a part of the literature, considers negative and dark side of storytelling, e.g. concealing or distorting the truth, and manipulating people actions and intentions. The paper argues that storytelling should be a part of HRD’s toolkit and sugestes storytelling skill is a sterategic skill that HRD practitioners should not neglecte it.


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