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Appendix D - Keywords, Codes, and Themes

Page history last edited by Mark 10 years, 11 months ago

Appendix D: Summary of Keywords, Codes, and Themes

Belonging, Membership & Boundary

Ascribed identification

Assuming or inheriting status, class, or other attributes by virtue of one's membership in the organization. Creating the impression, either in one's own mind or in the minds of others, that s/he is endowed with unique or rare attributes because of that membership.


Collective benefit

Seeking benefit for "the greater good," or collectively for a larger group, especially in the circumstance where the individual him/herself may not directly benefit, from an event, circumstance, or change.


Creating social network

Activities, actions and processes that serve to create and strengthen social networks within the organization that are outside of the regular workflow or typical job expectations.


Effects of depersonalized environment

Effects that emerge from a workplace environment that is primarily instrumental, with minimal humanizing elements.


Emotional detachment

Becoming somewhat detached, or not vested in the outcome of one's work, to emotionally protect oneself from the work not being approved or proceeding to be implemented.


Emotional involvement

Becoming emotionally (affectively) attached to one's work, and especially the outcomes and the effects of one's contribution; feeling one's stake in those outcomes and effects.


Geographic location

Pertaining to geographic proximity or dispersion among people who are nominally either members of the same team or workgroup, or otherwise collaborating with each other.


Inner/outer orientation

Individual decision processes that indicate whether the person's standpoint is inside the organization (thinking first of the organization's needs) or outside the organization (thinking first of how the organization is perceived, or the effects the organization will have among those with which it is in relation).


Organizational boundary issues

Relating to feeling restricted or bounded in the scope of work an individual or group is able to assume, or being able to identify such boundaries.


Personal benefit

Seeking personal benefit from an event, circumstance or change


Personal identification

How an individual constructs their sense of identity relative to the organization (workgroup, team, larger organization, or external organization).



The degree to which an individual or organization focuses extensively or exclusively on one area of competence or expertise.



Issues relating to individual members leaving the organization, either voluntarily or not.



Changing organizational cultures

Description of interactions and effects after a change in corporate culture, as a result of a merger or other major organizational change that results in a significant cultural change.


Comparison among precursor companies

Comparing behaviours, policies and cultures among precursor or predecessor organizations in a merged or transformed organization.


Creating hierarchy

Explicitly creating a new hierarchical structure, or reinforcing an existing structure, in response to a change, event, or circumstance


Disrupting bureaucracy

Actions or decision processes that disrupt the existing or expected bureaucracy.


Eliminating hierarchy, class, status

Actions that tend to diminish the class/status associated with hierarchical position


Eliminating organizational boundaries

Actions that minimize or eliminate traditional boundaries among organizational groups, or constituencies traditionally though of as being outside the organization


Encouraging continuous emergence

Actions, decisions and processes that create conditions for continual emergence of new realizations, changes, through facilitating change in perspectives, contexts and how meaning is made in the organization.


Reaction to change

Individual or group reaction to organizational change


Scaling the organization

Issues relating to how the organization structures scale with significant growth.


Scaling to opposite

An action taken by an individual manager that is reflected as opposite to the official policy taken at a mass level throughout the large organization. e.g. an individual manager allows an employee to telecommute, despite the corporate policy forbidding telecommuting.



Bureaucratic/administrative/hierarchical assumption

The assumption that actions will "naturally" occur, or that procedures will be followed, by virtue of the consequences of bureaucratic and administrative theories, or the extant class/status hierarchy, or both.


Communicating within

Communicating within an organization, or among team or group members


Communication with "the outside"

Processes and methods through which the organization communicates with its customers, clients, or other "outside" actors.


Creating engagement

Actions and processes that enable people to become completely engaged with their contribution to the organization and its total environment.


Efficiency and expediency

Actions that are justified through increasing efficiency or being expedient, especially with respect to accomplishing explicitly assigned or agreed-to objectives or achieving predetermined outcomes.


Encouraging collaboration

Circumstances or situations that encourage collaborating among people, irrespective of their individual or collective goals or objectives.


Following-up a decision

The process of verifying whether a given decision had the intended outcome or effect


Functional decomposition

In which an overall task or process is decomposed into its functional component parts, without (much) regard for the human connection or relationships implications.


Involving people

Circumstances under which other people are involved or invited into a process, or not.


Knowing what to do

Based on a common understanding of the organization's intentions, the individual (or small, relatively autonomous group) initiating a task or activity that supports those intentions, with or without the discovery of that task having been delegated from above. (In a comparatively more ba space, there is less formal delegation of this discovery from above.) Also referred to - more casually - as "Give-a-Damn."


Legitimated delegation / workflow

Delegation of a task, usually through a formal procedure, that follows the legitimate hierarchical organizational structure, or a predetermined, legitimate workflow process.


New employee orientation

The activities in which a new member of the organization engages to become familiarized with the role, and acculturated to the environment.


Passing information

As the primary component of an individual's role, the individual shepherd's information from one part of an organization to another.


Structured procedures and processes

Descriptions of a highly structured, pre-defined, specified way of doing things in the organization that are generally immutable, even in cases where change or deviation might be appropriate.



Working together towards a common objective and/or sharing information among a group of individuals




Similar to "ascribed identification," but specific to official degrees or other credentials awarded by a legitimizing organization (e.g., university degree, standards body, etc.) Conferring legitimacy to one's knowledge or skill by such an independent organization. (Note that the term "independent" in this context can be problematized in terms of conflict of (status) interest.)


Customer service, support, understanding and empathy

Approaches and attitudes used with respect to providing service and support to customers, and in some cases, creating an even stronger connection with customers beyond the simple transaction.


Employee evaluation

The process through which individual employees are evaluated


Hiring process

Description of the process used to hire new staff.


Quantifying outcomes

Measuring attainment of objectives through quantitative measures, irrespective of whether the actual intent was accomplished.



Ecological issues

Issues related to ecological concerns, including "greening" initiatives, pollution and waste reduction, awareness campaigns, and similar.



Conflict between individual and organizational values

Instances in which there is a conflict between one's personals values and beliefs and those of the organiztion.


Consistent values

Explicit recognition of the alignment of personal and organizational values. (cf. alignment of personal and organizational goals/objectives in traditional organizations)


Creating opportunity

Creating a business or career opportunity for an organization, an individual, or both.


Decision process

Descriptions of aspects of the internal decision-making process


Defining one's role

The process through which an individual's, or organization's, role is determined.


Developing goals and objectives

The process of developing goals and objectives for the organization, either in part or as a whole


Engaging outside advisors

The process of consulting with, and seeking advice from, trusted individuals who are not directly involved with managing the organization. This would be akin to role of a board of directors, but not necessarily formally constituted.


Leadership model

Examples of how an organizational leader enacts their leadership role, especially in decision-making.


Objective or instrumental choice

Making a choice among alternatives based on "objectively" determined merit.


Organizational isomorphism

Creating a model of organization that is structurally similar to, or matched with, another organization, irrespective of whether the analogue contextually fits.


Organizational structure

A description of the management structure of the organization


Personal motivation

Expressions of what motivates the individual


Planning for the future

Activities, interactions and processes that anticipate future needs and directions for the organization.


Realigning goals and objectives

Changing an organization's goals and objectives in reaction to circumstances, events, or other influences.



Mark's reflections

My on-the-spot reflections based on the conversation in progress


Organization Identification

Organization A, Organization F, Organization I, Organization M, Organization U


Power Dynamics

Autocratic non-collaboration

A decision taken by a person with hierarchical or legitimate power, who appears to consult or collaborate, but is, at best, seeking to convince others of his/her point of view before making the preconceived decision.


Concertive control

Control usually delegated by more senior management to the workers, who exert mutual control via consensus values (which are typically more akin to objectives and outcomes, rather than values), those values usually imposed from above rather from more authentic shared value creation.


Convincing someone

Taking actions that will convince someone of one's point-of-view, without seriously reflecting on one's own. An action usually taken by someone with legitimate or coercive power (eg. relatively higher in a hierarchy) without wanting to appear arbitrary, or explicitly exercising that power.


Creating status and class

Organizational methods and structures that create a social hierarchy of status and class, often (but not necessarily) related to income.


Defensive measure

An action taken by someone who perceives their position to be threatened by another person, or an event or circumstance.


Discouraging collaboration or teamwork

Actions, decisions or policies that discourage collaboration or teamwork by creating rivalrous situations, or other mechanisms that threaten an employee's livelihood.


Elites benefit

Benefits observed to be taken by an elite group within the larger organization, typically located relatively higher in a class/status hierarchy.


Encouraging autonomy and agency

Actions and processes that encourage individuals and organizations to take initiative and act with little direction or intervention by management. This presumes considerable trust, and relinquishing traditional managerial control.


Ignoring hierarchy

In an otherwise hierarchical organization, ignoring the relative hierarchical ranks in favour of other value. In an explicitly non-hierarchical organization, examples of how class and status hierarchy is eliminated or bypassed.


Imposed expectation

Tasks assigned in a somewhat passive-aggressive manner. The specific task is not explicitly assigned, but there is little actual choice about the expectation that more senior management has about what should be done.


Justifying a decision

The process through which a decision to be taken is justified and given approval by the organization.


Power and empowerment

Issues and analysis related to nominal or actual empowerment of individuals, and relations of power within the organization


Seeking authorization

Seeking legitimation from the hierarchical chain of command when an individual or small, relatively autonomous group discovers something that should be undertaken.


Systemic disempowerment

The ways in which a system or set of processes have been designed to disempower individuals, or otherwise discourage taking initiative for reviewing or questioning those processes.



Assimilating diverse thinking

The processes used to encourage, solicit, hear, and incorporate diverse thinking among organization members, especially in circumstances affecting strategic or long-term decision-making.


Balancing between polarities

Issues and circumstances relating to finding an appropriate balance between polarity tensions, as opposed to giving exclusive preference to one or the other polarity.


Effects of diverse environment

Observations and experiences in an environment that is culturally diverse, referring either to ethnic or racial diversity, or corporate-culture diversity.


Espoused theory

Actions, decisions and processes that are described in response to a hypothetical situation or circumstance, imagining the course that would be taken in the particular situation.


Handling diverse opinions

The mechanisms for resolving diversity of opinions on direction, decisions and actions among organization members.


In-use theory

Actions, decisions and processes that are actually enacted in response to a situation or circumstance, sometimes differing from espoused theory.


Instrumental rationalization

Rationalizing an otherwise unpleasant realization, or objectionable situation based on instrumentality, or the fungible connection to an organization (e.g., "I'm getting paid to do it.")


Interconnected effects

Indication of the complexity of organizations that are interconnected to one another, via indirect, feedback and feedforward effects.


Reaching consensus

Mechanisms used in an attempt to reach a consensus among people with diverse opinions on how to proceed with a particular decision or organizational direction.


Resolving conflict

Issue related to how conflict is resolved in the organization when agreement or consensus cannot reasonably be reached.


Shared or consensus vision

The process through which a "shared vision" or common understanding of direction is jointly created for the organization. This is different than developing specific goals or objectives, and different again from a vision or direction developed at the top of a hierarchy and disseminated throughout the organization.


Things more important than money

Individual or organizational decisions that are made for which economic considerations are either not predominant, or the decision appears to be counter to the direct economic interest of the organization.


Unexpected outcome

A non-deterministic outcome of a circumstance or situation, unpredictable from the situation itself.


Work/life balance

Personal reflection or expression of the relationship between one's life, and what one does for economic compensation.


Valence Forms


The form of a valence relationship that creates shared volition, common identification, tacit shared understanding, and a shared sense of belonging.



The form of a valence relationship that involves a commodified or instrumental exchange.




Relationships involving exchanges of energy and engagement in physical space.



Relationships involving exchange of value



Relationships involving construction of identity



Relationships involving exchanges of information, experiences, expertise or opportunity.



Relationships that create affective connections


View of People

Humanizing the workplace

Interactions among people that create a more personal and caring work environment. "Co-workers" are seen as individuals, with rich lives outside of work, and those lives are germane to the work environment.


I am part of the purpose of my group

The individual identifies him/herself with the purpose or objective of the group, department or program of which they are collectively a part. This is in contrast with self-identification according to their specific function or specific knowledge.


I am what I do

The person identifies him/herself with the organization by what they do.


I am what I know

The person identifies him/herself with the organization by virtue of the knowledge or experience they contribute


Instrumental view of people

Viewing people as functional commodities, or "assets" based almost exclusively on their fungible worth.


Relational view of people

Viewing people as in relation first and foremost, with their instrumental purpose secondary to their humanity and being in connection.

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