Steven Austin Stovall, Ph.D. is a 2007 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dissertation Committee

  • Carolyn Kenny, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Jon Wergin, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Mitch Kusy, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Yiannis Gabriel, Ph.D., External Reader


Storytelling, Stories, Portraiture, Organizational Culture, Corporate Culture, Organizational Behavior, Narrative

Document Type


Publication Date



Stories abound in the business world. They may be called "success stories," "best practices sharing," or even simply "stories," but however they are referred to, these tales not only become part of the organizational culture, but they also help define it. This study examines storytelling among for-profit organizations to demonstrate how stories are selected, told, and related to employees for the purposes of either changing the organizational culture or helping to maintain the existing one. Four companies have been chosen to capture the nature of storytelling as it relates to the sharing of cultural information within these firms. Using the qualitative research methodology known as portraiture, four portraits have been be crafted and emergent themes concerning the relationship of storytelling and culture are identified: organizational culture is not easily defined, culture emanates from the top, stories about culture are numerous, histories of organizations are stories, maintaining or changing culture is difficult, and stories about culture are real. The purpose of this study is to deepen our understanding about how and why stories function in for-profit cultures.. The electronic version of this dissertation is accessible at the OhioLINK ETD Center,