Media Releases

New book from U of T on the importance of narrative as a management skill

September 6, 2011

TORONTO, ON – A new book from a pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to exam­in­ing the impor­tance of nar­ra­tive for pub­lic ser­vants has recent­ly been pub­lished.  Gov­ern­ing Fables: Learn­ing from Pub­lic Sec­tor Nar­ra­tives is authored by UofT Pro­fes­sor Sand­ford Borins.

The book advo­cates the impor­tance of nar­ra­tive for pub­lic ser­vants, exem­pli­fies it with a rig­or­ous­ly select­ed and ana­lyzed set of nar­ra­tives, and imparts nar­ra­tive skills politi­cians and pub­lic ser­vants need in their careers. Gov­ern­ing Fables turns to nar­ra­tol­ogy, the inter-dis­ci­pli­nary study of nar­ra­tive, for a con­cep­tu­al frame­work that is applied to a set of nar­ra­tives engag­ing life with­in pub­lic orga­ni­za­tions, focus­ing on works pro­duced dur­ing the last twen­ty-five years in the US and UK. The gen­res dis­cussed include British gov­ern­ment nar­ra­tives inspired by and react­ing to Yes Min­is­ter, British appease­ment nar­ra­tives, Amer­i­can polit­i­cal nar­ra­tives, the Cuban Mis­sile Cri­sis nar­ra­tive, jury deci­sion-mak­ing nar­ra­tives, and hero­ic teacher nar­ra­tives. In each genre lessons are pre­sent­ed regard­ing both effec­tive man­age­ment and essen­tial nar­ra­tive skills.

Sand­ford Borins is Pro­fes­sor of Strate­gic Man­age­ment at the UofT’s Rot­man School of Man­age­ment and the Depart­ment of Man­age­ment, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Scar­bor­ough and a Research Fel­low at the Har­vard Kennedy School.  He has been a vis­it­ing pro­fes­sor at the Har­vard Kennedy School and Gold­man School of Pub­lic Pol­i­cy, Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley, and Schol­ar-in-Res­i­dence in the Ontario Cab­i­net Office. Gov­ern­ing Fables is Prof. Borins’s eighth book. Prof. Borins was a mem­ber of the board of direc­tors of the Ontario Trans­porta­tion Cap­i­tal Cor­po­ra­tion, respon­si­ble for devel­op­ing Ontario’s High­way 407. He was the Pres­i­dent of the Cana­di­an Asso­ci­a­tion of Pro­grams in Pub­lic Admin­is­tra­tion from 2003 to 2007.He did his under­grad­u­ate stud­ies at Har­vard, where he grad­u­at­ed magna cum laude, was elect­ed to Phi Beta Kap­pa, and received a Woodrow Wil­son Fel­low­ship. He then took a Mas­ter in Pub­lic Pol­i­cy at the Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment, and received his Ph.D. in Eco­nom­ics at Har­vard.

Fur­ther infor­ma­tion on Gov­ern­ing Fables, includ­ing order infor­ma­tion, is online at

The Rot­man School of Man­age­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is redesign­ing busi­ness edu­ca­tion for the 21st cen­tu­ry with a cur­ricu­lum based on Inte­gra­tive Think­ing. Locat­ed in the world’s most diverse city, the Rot­man School fos­ters a new way to think that enables the design of cre­ative busi­ness solu­tions.  The School is cur­rent­ly rais­ing $200 mil­lion to ensure Cana­da has the world-class busi­ness school it deserves. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it




For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Ken McGuf­fin
Man­ag­er, Media Rela­tions
Rot­man School of Man­age­ment
Fol­low Rot­man on Twit­ter —