“C’era una volta…”. Racconti d’imprese storiche della manifattura campana ("Once upon a time...". Tales about the historic manufacturing firms from Campania)

  • Angelo Riviezzo
  • Antonella Garofano
  • Vittoria Marino
  • Maria Rosaria Napolitano
Keywords: stories of companies, longevity, statistical-lexical analysis


Purpose of the paper: The main aim of this paper is to analyze the content of the stories of some long-lived companies in order to identify recurring elements and examine the rhetoric used in the narrative.

Methodology: The empirical research is based on the statistical-lexical analysis of twelve stories of manufacturing firms belonging to an association of historical family firms called “I Centenari”. The text of the stories, told by the voice of the entrepreneurs, was analyzed by using a software.

Findings: Our analysis shows a significant similarity between the stories. All the stories are built on three key narrative themes: the story of the family; the story of the business in which it is involved; the elements capable of shaping the identity of the family.

Research limits: The main limitation of the study relates to the number and characteristics of the firms involved. They are all manufacturing firms and all from the same region. Furthermore, the study focused only on the content of the stories, ignoring other perspectives, such as that related to the marketing potential of the stories themselves or the involvement of other stakeholders.

Practical implications: From the experience narrated by long-lived family firms it is possible to draw valuable insights for the enhancement of longevity in a marketing-oriented perspective.

Originality of the paper: The literature that uses the story as a tool for researching on organizational dynamics has never focused on the analysis of the precise elements shared by the stories of long-lived firms. The present study is the first with such an objective.


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