Purpose – This paper aims at extending research on narrative knowledge sharing in organizations. Current literature often assumes that narratives can provide orientation and guidance in complex task environments by conveying embedded actionable problem-solving knowledge or practices. In this paper an empirical example of narrative-based knowledge sharing is used as a starting point to explore knowledge sharing via narratives in more detail. It turns out to be a much more ambiguous and problematic exercise than previous studies assume. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is a conceptual paper but uses a case vignette from Shell to exemplify the problem of narrative-based knowledge sharing discussed in the paper.Findings – A possible model shall be outlined how inconsistent and questionable narratives could be handled in order to provide orientation. It concludes with stressing the importance of reflecting on narratives and suggest a generative interplay between narrative and argumentative modes of communication in knowledge sharing.Originality/value – The paper is actually the first which deals systematically with the shortcomings of a narrative mode of knowledge sharing. It explores the potential problems and outlines some suggestions how these problems could be addressed theoretically and practically.
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