Latest Seminars

Narrative Cognition in Organizations

PhD Thesis Defense

Studies of the narrative style of cognition have led to greater insights into how professionals make sense of their environment and identities. Yet narrative cognition has also been associated with overinterpretation, overconfidence, manipulation, and decreased performance. Organizations will benefit from a better understanding of the tradeoffs of narrative cognition: the general cognitive functions that are engaged in narrative cognition, the associations of narrative cognition on workplace engagement, and the fit and misfit of narrative thinkers. This dissertation approaches this tension in narrative cognition research in three empirical chapters. Chapter 2 tests the theoretical predictions about the general cognitive functions expected to be engaged by narrative cognition. Results show an association with general cognitive functions that could help explain the double-edged sword of narrative cognition. Chapter 3 tests the psychological states of burned out employees by comparing paired survey and text samples. This study finds significant differences between the theoretically based phenomenon of burnout and its observed psychological states, including relationships between burnout and narrative cognition. Chapter 4 questions the possible areas of fit and misfit for narrative thinkers given the complex perceptions of narrative cognition. In two studies, I find evidence for perceived misfit of narrative thinkers in STEM industries and junior level roles and mixed evidence for fit within interpersonal industries. Overall, this dissertation demonstrates the specialization of narrative cognition for certain tasks and roles in balance with its potential dark sides.


Speaker :
Mr. John Jamison
Venue :
via Zoom
Date :
Time :