Conceptual Framework and Methodology
Narratives circulating widely within popular culture provide templates for engaging with the actors and institutions they represent. Academics and critics generally assert that popular narratives about business (movies, novels, histories) are invariably critical. This monograph presents a more nuanced view. This chapter outlines an inductively derived structural matrix that is used to analyze 63 narrative texts produced in the US in the last 40 years dealing with three major industries: information technology (IT), automobile manufacturing, and financial trading. The matrix defines an eight-cell array of structuring fables ranging from Nirvana to Nightmare with six mixed or compound fables intervening between these extremes. Texts that cluster in one or a few related cells are defined as instantiating a dominant fable.