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This research is focused on the differential impacts of narrative and facts and figures on the understanding of corporate strategy or competitive advantage. In this way a theoretical (philosophical) foundation can be laid for narrative and the understanding of corporate strategy. Additionally, much needed theoretically sound, empirical validation can be offered for the use of narrative and storytelling by leaders within organizations as a means of creating, disseminating,and executing strategy. Employing a model derived from the tension between modern and post-modern thinking about the nature of ideas and concepts a conceptual framework is offered to try to explain the possible usefulness of narrative as a leadership tool. Data are presented to substantiate that narrative presentation of corporate strategy, competitive advantage, is more effective at producing a consistent and confident choice of competitive advantage among an audience than a presentation of corporate strategy using a PowerPoint style, bulleted list approach. Results are discussed in light of the conceptual model put forth.


A Dissertation Presented by Michael Carriger, Graduate School of Management and Technology, Doctor of Management Program, University of Maryland University College, December 13, 2010.