In product creation processes, perhaps even more than in organization processes in general, uncertainties are addressed and complexity is reduced. In retrospect, linearized success stories are told. The history of a product innovation in a biotechnology firm is used to show how actually, over time, attributions and typifications in stories, and the implied stories contained in interactions, link up and an overall plot emerges. Such a social-semiotic analysis identifies the narrative infrastructure which enables, as well as constrains, further actions, just like narrative enables and constrains the characters involved. In the specific `genre' of product creation processes, the role of `hero' shifts from the project team to the emerging product itself. Managers and other actors involved can profit from the reflexive understanding offered by social-semiotic analysis, and avoid becoming captive of the path they follow, even though reflexivity may hinder the build-up of thrust in the process.
|Publication status||Published - 2000|