Heroes, villains and 'honourable merchants': Narrative change in the German media discourse on corporate governance

  • Hartz R
  • Steger T
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Drawing on data from recent media discourse about corporate governance in Germany, this article primarily seeks to explore the changing nature of narratives in the mass media about both organizations and their managers. Based on Greimas' narrative approach and his adaptation of Propp's morphology of the folktale, the article reconstructs two different narratives of corporate governance and the transformation process between them. To improve our understanding of narrative change, we extend the Greimasian approach in two respects. First, we highlight the two-way relationship between narrative change and the wider economic context. Second, we point to structural conditions of the narrative(s) in relation to narrative change and identify typical semantic figures as indicators of change.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Greimas
  • corporate governance
  • mass media
  • narrative change

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  • Ronald Hartz

  • Thomas Steger

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