From faith to food: using oral history to study corporate mythology in Canadian manufacturing firms
Thiessen, Janis. "From faith to food: using oral history to study corporate mythology in Canadian manufacturing firms." Oral History 42(1) (Spring 2014): 59-72.
The study of corporate mythology, particularly through oral history, has received increasing attention from business historians. The role of corporate mythology is examined at two Canadian manufacturing companies: Loewen (a wooden window manufacturer in Steinbach, Manitoba) and WT Hawkins (makers of Cheezies, a cheese-flavoured snack made from extruded corn). Oral histories and Roland Barthes’ writings on mythology are used to study an advertising campaign at Loewen, while corporate records and oral histories are used to explore Hawkins’ corporate mythology. The author concludes that corporate mythology succeeded at Hawkins but failed at Loewen: Hawkins built a following for a single product made using outdated equipment, while Loewen reduced its workforce and was sold to a foreign holding company.