Interactions between Ideas and Behaviour in Organizations

Magnus Marmgren, Sverker Alänge, Stefan Book

Abstract


Purpose: To develop and test a framework which can be used to facilitate the understanding of how ideas interact with behaviour in organisations, in ways that have practical relevance in organisational development and improvement.

Design/methodology/approach: The framework proposed in this paper is the product of an abductive research process. This process involved testing and reflecting in action, and on action when writing. The emerging framework was also challenged by theoretical input from continual literature studies and has (at
different stages of its development) been part of the theoretical framework for a PhD dissertation, research articles and master’s theses.

Findings: The framework graphically highlights the relationship between explicit (i.e., spoken or documented) and tacit ideas, and that the latter is what largely controls action. It also implies that for new explicit ideas or theories to become effective, they have to become part of the tacit guiding ideas. This is often difficult to achieve. The framework gives a perspective on why this is the
case and how it can be counteracted, including by: addressing the coherence between its parts; supporting sense-making; and seeing development as iterative and contextual.

Practical implications: The framework has been tested with practitioners and has rapidly assisted professionals in making explicit, and developing, tacit knowledge. It has also been successfully used in analyses in several papers, including studies of sustainability and process management.

Originality/value: The implications of the framework are in line with existing research, yet we believe that the graphical model adds both scientific and practical dimensions. This is partly due to the framework making it easier to differentiate between complex concepts that are often confused.


Keywords


Conceptual framework; tacit guiding; change management; sustainability; naturalizing

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12776/qip.v20i2.755

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Copyright (c) 2016 Magnus Marmgren, Sverker Alänge, Stefan Book

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