Storytelling, spiritual values and the French oldest company

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Organization Studies Summer Workshops “ Spirituality, Symbolism, and Storytelling” 2016 May 19-21




  • Muriel de Fabrègues, Sorbonne Universités Panthéon-Assas (
  • Jacques Rojot, Sorbonne Universités Panthéon-Assas, France
  • Catherine Voynnet-Fourboul, Sorbonne Universités Panthéon-Assas, France

Storytelling, spiritual values and the French oldest company


The aim of this paper is to decipher the spiritual dimension in the storytelling of senior managers in the oldest French company, one of the oldest manufacturing companies in the world and one of its most successful (a top CAC 40).

The focus of our paper is a short training book published by the Training Department Director in September 2015. Dedicated to all the Company’s managers in the context of their training, it is made up of 6 short management stories, referring to different managerial cases that took place in Poland and Romania. As declared by the author, the stories are expressive and meaningful.


The six stories of the book, distributed within the managerial echelons of the Company are constructed so as to touch people and make them act according to the Company’s principles and values. Our paper aims at deciphering the underpinning spiritual roots that could be the source of enactment of the stories.


Each story deals with different themes, that we can call “passages of leadership” (Noel, J.L., Dotlich, D. L., Walker, N.2004). Leaders face numerous critical crossroads in their careers, moments that can provide extraordinary learning and growth opportunities. These passages are predictable, and with proper preparation, leaders not only can survive them to become stronger but can use these experiences to enhance their leadership, compassion, and effectiveness.


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