The Wolf of Wall Street movie overview
In the movie, DiCaprio of the Wolf of Wall Street plays Belfort, a penny stockbroker from Long Island who served prison term of 36 months for massive defrauding of investors in 1990s securities scam that involved widespread corruption in the corporate banking world and on Wall Street, including Steve Madden a shoe designer.
Jordan Belfort teamed with Donny Azoff in 1990s, his partner and started Stratford-Oakmont a brokerage firm. Their company grew quickly to a staff of more than 250 from a staff of 20, and their status was elevated in Wall Street and the trading community by their exponential growth. So much that other companies filed their initial public offerings through them. As their status grew, so did substances amount that they abuse, and so does their lie. They drew attention, throwing lavish parties for their staff whenever they hit the jackpot on high trades. That finally led to Belfort featuring on Forbes Magazine cover, being called "The Wolf of Wall St.” With Belfort's trading schemes on the FBI watch, he devised new ways of watching his fortune grow and cover his tracks. Belfort finally comes up with a scheme for their cash to be stashed in a European bank. But FBI watched hem and were later arrested and he money recouped. The movie is based on a true story from the rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life of Jordan Belfort to his fall and involving in corruption, crime, and the federal government. In that respect, the movie can be said to be a narrative explaining the markets and institutions practices at the moment with the characters reflecting the organizational strategies and practices in line with the statement.
The movie as a narrative as strategy practice
It is argued that organizational communication research and perspective, in particular, focuses on narrative and can in important ways contribute to understanding the practices and a strategy. It is also believed that narratives are critical in organizations for making of sense, and multiple forms, as well as levels of narrative, are inherent in strategic practices. Narrative, For example, can be found in the micro-stories from the managers and others as they go about their daily work and as they interact. For strategy-making through the formalized techniques explicitly or not, the techniques are story-based. In narratives such as the movie, the accounts people are provided regarding their work, and produced as artifacts of strategizing activities. Exploring applications of he narrative approach to the strategy praxis, practices, practitioners and text, two concepts arise as ones that might serve to integrate macro and micro levels of analysis for institutions and markets. Overall, narrative in he movie is seen as a way of giving meaning to the practice that emerges from sense-making activities, constituting overall sense of direction or purpose, refocusing organizational identity as well as enabling and constraining the ongoing activities of the actors (Boje, 2001).
While narratives and more broadly narratological issues are relatively neglected, they have not entirely been ignored by scholars as a strategy-as-practice One well area of overlap between practice of strategy literatures centers on scenario planning and the narrative and, i.e. the structured script-like use or possible futures storied-characterizations that incorporate causal relationships, key players and prevailing trends to assist managers by showing how the future might unfold as they seek to cope with uncertainty. Thus, storytelling via scenario planning of the world such as in the movie showing the stock brokers’ operations and strategies may be a natural way of making sense. The role of narrator ship and stories is a process of strategy, and the utility of narratological perspectives on strategies practices continue to receive only intermittent and often cursory attention. Indeed, discursive processes have gained far more general interest, than processes of storytelling and stories (Sveningsson & Alvesson, 2003)
For seeking to make synergistic connections between strategy-as-practice literature and narrative, there are at least two broad sets of reasons. First, the strategy-as-practice linguistic turn ground most of the scholars identify themselves as interested in and discursive practices of strategy making and focus. Thus between the shared ontological and epistemological there is a natural consonance of assumptions - social constructionism, relativism, subjectivism, meaning plurality, etc. - of narratology literature and the strategy-as-practice. Second, the symbiotic linkage between storytelling and strategizing the strong potential has only been explored to a limited extent. A narrative approach to strategy have been outlined in which authoring stories such as the movie achieve both defamiliarization (novelty) and credibility (believability) as the task of strategists. On storytelling and large-scale strategic change, there is also a substantial literature. Recently and most relevantly, Boje (2001) have sought to elaborate on narrative potential as an approach to Strategy.
The conclusion is that there is the significance of drawing on narratological ideas to inform studies of strategy in the practice as in the movie that brought into the light he unethical practices that the wall street organizations engaged in. The movie’s relation to the then market practices helps in understanding that organizations are spaces that are discursive and which gives strategists opportunities for writing and talking, and that narratives are speech-acts that bring up a social reality that never existed before their utterance began. Research on the issue analyzes five means in which attending to the practices of narrative of narratological and strategists considerations even more broadly, can be of much benefit: dealing with equivocality; humanizing strategy research; understanding outcomes; accounting adequately for the polyphony and sensitivity to the issues of power. Every one of these concerns significant features of the strategy-as-practice agenda and each one of them is suggestive of how (arguably) weaknesses in empirical strategy, and previous theorizing research may be addressed. Realizing that an approach of story-telling is a supplement to existing perspectives and has got its limitations, it is contended that by having to attend to narratological issues, there may even emerge a more sophisticatedly reflexive strategy-as- practice scholarship.
Approach of Narratological to Strategy-as-Practice
Interest in story-telling and narrative are both symptomatic and (in part) constitutive of the language turn that has been recognized in organization studies and on the social sciences. One of the linguistic turn manifestation in management studies is raising interest in the organizations ideas that are constituted communicatively such as he practices ha were reflected in the movie to which there is a close ally to the narratological perspectives. However, while it is at times recognized that the process of communication constitutes strategizing and strategies and that internal discourses give shape to strategists and strategic realities subjectivities, there have been only few detailed analyses of such a phenomena. Within complex organizations, how some narratives (oral or written) become authoritative via the ongoing communicative processes and how legitimacy is drawn from their production settings and from those actors who are participants in their production, is of importance (Boje, 2001).
Strategy as a practice is also a single aspect of a broader movement to organizational research and humanize management by focusing on the social actors such as in the movie. A narrative turn would help scholars in pursuit of this goal. As a species we have been described as homo narrans and homo fabulans; the narrative tellers and interpreters and being basically story - telling characters. Historians, Sociologists and psychologists of various hues have explained how we are self- narrating organisms with a natural impulse that is natural to narrate and how the narratives are a basic principle for organizing human cognition. Additionally, narratives are a significant form of making meaning mainly preoccupied with human events and actions that affect human beings such as the events featured in the movie (Sveningsson & Alvesson, 2003)
In organizations, people collectively make sense, through jointly negotiated narratives which makes the unexpected expectable and enables people predict the future behavior of an organization. That is especially evident in the periods of strategic change, whereby good stories are treasured means of preserving coherence and plausibility and are informed temporally, and well as reconciles both feelings and thoughts. Further, narratives that are strategic allow their authors to attach themselves to a desirable putatively ends, think well of themselves, as well as to promote feelings of self-efficiency and self-worth. Claiming to be a strategist, and appearing as the self as responsible for the future of collectives has a character that is almost inherently narcissistic. It is no accident that researchers have recognized how authors of stories in which the implication of self tend to confirm theories of crediting positive outcomes to the self, attribution egotism and negative outcomes to the external factors. Generally, a focus on narrative emphasizes recognition that the strategies and also their formulation are bound-up with the issues of management impression, and while telling their executive strategy stories are encouraged to construct themselves usually in self-aggrandizing ways, for instance, as wise and skilful. Who people are lies significantly in the hands of others and the strategy stories are given strategically by actors to impact the stories that other people tell about them (Beech & Johnson, 2005).
Organizations constitutes of multiple voices, making them polyphonic, they are emphatically not nomological, and the multi-language or heteroglossia nature of the strategy practices has to be always acknowledged. Most organizations have largely accepted and well-attested key strategy narratives and master texts that understand the structure and ongoing patterns of storytelling, giving them some coherence and stability and giving ongoing activities a certain level of predictability. While organizations may usually be featured in one or a few strategy stories that are dominant such as the movie. Usually, there are several counter-stories and nuanced versions of the official pronouncements. However, there has been a tendency for some strategy-as-practice scholars to marginalize, simplify and exclude multiplicity, and to rely on the sequential, single- voiced stories that generally serve the need of management rather than capture the complete diversity of voices that constitute the organized activity. For instance, the strategy-as-practice community has sometimes been suggested to focus very narrowly on the top management teams (Barge, 2004).
Barge J. K., 2004. Ante narrative and managerial practice. Communication Studies,55, 106–127.
Beech N. &Johnson P., 2005. Disrupted identities discourses in practice of strategic change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 18, 31–47.
Boje D. M., 2001. Narrative methods for organizational & communication research. London: Sage
Sveningsson S.& Alvesson M., 2003. Managing management identities: Organizational discourse fragmentation, and identity struggle. Human Relations, 56, 1163–1193.