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Women roar: 'The women's thing' in the storywork of Tom Peters

Collins, David


David Collins


Academic commentary on the excellence project has tended to operate with a caricature of Tom Peters and has, furthermore, made broad claims for the organizing potential of the stories that feature in his texts. This article argues that any attempt to explore the nature of guru theory or to account for the organizing potential of its storyworld must look beyond such distortions and should be located within a critical analysis of storytelling practice. To this end we offer a sustained engagement with the work of Tom Peters and a longitudinal analysis of the stories that he has used to bring form and substance to his excellence project. Recognizing the dynamic nature of the excellence project the article focuses upon Peters' attempts to feminize the concept and practice of business excellence.Through an analysis of Tom Peters' storytelling practice we seek to explore the role, status and position of women in the excellence project and the extent of Peters' conversion to ‘the women's thing'. We argue that there is a narrative continuity in Peters' work, which continues to portray women as organizationally problematic, and so, unworthy of full organizational membership. Reflecting upon this finding the article suggests a response to Peters' attempts to feminize the excellence project that builds upon the transgressive potential of humour.


Collins, D. (2012). Women roar: 'The women's thing' in the storywork of Tom Peters. Organization, 19(4), 405-424.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date May 24, 2011
Publication Date 2012-07
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Organization
Print ISSN 1350-5084
Electronic ISSN 1461-7323
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 4
Pages 405-424
Keywords Management of Technology and Innovation; Strategy and Management; General Business, Management and Accounting
Public URL