Organizational identity by means of narrations in weblogs

ERCO light design in Hong KongThe story I am about to tell is the perfect example of how narration, discourse and computer mediated communication via weblogs work together to tell us about the identity of an organization.

About 4 months ago, Cem Basman published an article about the transformation of the company ERCO from a dull bed stand lamp producer to a worldwinde innovator in lighting. A new manager asks his employees the significant question: “What business are we in, actually?”. “Lamps” was the first answer, and he said “no, it’s light”.

This story always has been a classic example for doing succesful business by thinking beyond the obvious. It is a nice telling indeed and it can be beautifully illustrated by the impressing projects ERCO is realizing now all over the world.

Erco light design in TokyoNow for the second part and the perfect example of something I am trying to show in my master thesis: Identities become visible in narrations and those narrations are created in a group dialogue over time. Weblogs are the perfect medium for that.

Four months later, the said new manager, Klaus-Jürgen Maack, comments in the weblog and writes an email to the author, adding further details to the story! Now, a search in Google for “Erco Geschichte” delivers exactly this story, collaboratively written by the weblog author and one of the protagonists.

I am glad having discovered this little piece of identity on the web.
Imagine, there’s much more and every day, people adding new parts to it.

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