Creation & concept: exploring the founders story

Maurici, F 2014, Creation & concept: exploring the founders story, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business and Law, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Creation & concept: exploring the founders story
Author(s) Maurici, F
Year 2014
Abstract Using narrative inquiry, this research project explores the importance of various aspects of leadership, by eliciting seventeen individual autobiographical stories (personal narratives) from founders of successful commercial organisations. As part of the analysis, the findings are explored in an effort to uncover recurrent themes resonating from the stories that the founders / interviewees tell about themselves. The findings are considered in the context of Joseph Campbell’s seminal theory of storytelling (Campbell 1949), as elucidated by Christopher Vogler (2007) in ‘The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers’, in order to determine whether the founders in this study are, or were, heroes. The project’s participants choose to tell their stories to the researcher in the setting of their choice. The researcher then analyses each founder’s story to identify reoccurring themes, and reflects upon the overall transfer of that experience and the information gathered. Collecting these individual autobiographical stories, listening to and comparing each unique account, and investigating how each personal narrative is constructed around specific events and critical incidents, provides insight into deeper individual realities, which are closely linked to the participants’ experiences. These are a collection of revealing personal narratives (autobiographical stories) describing how each participant viewed themselves up until the time that the research took place. At its core, this study is primarily a project that explores the use of narrative as a research method. The findings from this research are useful from a practical perspective, as they assist in understanding that the universal forms of stories can be a metaphor for life. It is hoped that the research will enrich the reader, and offer insight into the nature of the founders, and their journeys.

From a theoretical point of view, the research will contribute to the knowledge-base by way of the many commercial virtues that may be gained by learning the ways in which successful founders have undergone personal and professional transformations, as they progressed through their journey towards authentic leadership. The autobiographical stories are valuable windows into the emotional and symbolic lives of each founder and their respective organisations. These stories also outline an approach to eliciting and analysing narrative data as part of a complex and multi-faceted study. “Hero’s Journey” is a pattern of narrative described by American scholar Joseph Campbell that has been shown to be present in various forms of storytelling and myths as well as an individual’s psychological development. It explains the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, the person who aims for and achieves significant goals which contribute to the group, tribe, or civilization in a major way. As we are all on our own journey, be it personal or professional with our own set of trials to overcome, it is our own mentors to whom we turn for guidance in search of our own prize. According to Campbell (1949) and Vogler (2007) our seventeen participants are indeed heroes.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business and Law
Keyword(s) Narrative Inquiry
Autobiographical Stories
Personal Narratives
Authentic Leadership
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Created: Fri, 12 Dec 2014, 07:41:44 EST by Denise Paciocco
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