Drawing on an extended ethnographic study of the textual practices of economists at the Bank of Canada, this article looks at narrative construction as a communal process of corporate knowledge making. Employing theories of narrative, genre, and distributed cognition as a conceptual frame, the article traces three stages in the development of a narrative known in the bank as the monetary-policy story. Evolving across a number of written genres, this symbolic representation functions as an important site of intersubjectivity among the institution's economists. In its final form, the narrative serves the bank's executives as a shared cognitive and rhetorical resource for making decisions about monetary policy and communicating these decisions to the Canadian public. This account of knowledge making at the Bank of Canada may be useful as a heuristic for researchers studying the dynamics of discourse in other professional settings.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/105065199901300302
Journal Journal of Business and Technical Communication
Smart, G. (1999). Storytelling in a Central Bank: The Role of Narrative in the Creation and Use of Specialized Economic Knowledge. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 13(3), 249–273. doi:10.1177/105065199901300302