Project Management Institute

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Narrative Capital and Meaning Making in Projects

Research on projects has to a limited degree taken issue with how projects are chief producers of meaning at work. We develop the concept of narrative capital as a basic mechanism for how people can engender meaning in and through projects in organizations. Narrative capital is derived from experiences that people appropriate into their individual and collective life stories, retrospectively, as adding to a repertoire of accumulated learning and mastering, and prospectively, in terms of living with purpose and hope. We chart implications for meaning making in projects as expanding ownership, expanding connections of impact, and extending narrative possibility.
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