Intimacy at work: Playback theatre and corporate cultural change in Mercedes Benz, Brazil

Rea Dennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


On the back of a faltering economic year in 2007 and a major merger of motor car and truck dealerships, international motor car giant Mercedes Benz adopted a radical approach to re-aligning the company vision for their Brazilian business. Adopting a people-centred approach to change, they integrated participatory theatre and personal stories into a nationwide cultural development programme producing twelve performances in twelve cities. The central content of the performances came from employees who told personal stories that were then performed onstage. Each event acted as a unique expression of workplace values that would be led by employee attitudes and behaviour. Through the dialogic process, the company established a new code of conduct for customer care for the next phase of company activity. This article critiques various aspects of the programme and considers the value and limitations in the person-centred approach facilitated through theatre.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301 - 309
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010


  • people-centred change
  • cultural development
  • social change
  • personal story
  • playback theatre


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