Where to next?

Brad C. Anderson

This chapter discussed various approaches for individuals to combine values, rationality, and power to create effective action. Whereas this chapter focused on actions or insights an individual might use, the next chapter focuses on activities groups might perform to develop organizational wisdom.


In This Chapter, You Learned

How to use values and rationality to solve problems

  • Use appropriate and multiple forms of rationality to solve problems.
  • Collective reasoning creates innovative solutions to problems.

How to build supportive alliances

  • To use values to produce power relations
    • Understand the values the organization pursues
    • Consider the relationship between the terminal and instrumental values in the organization.
    • Evaluate how the organization organizes itself to pursue each of these values
    • Reflect on how your desired actions align (or conflict) with organizational values
    • Define rationality to build power relations with individuals and groups whose values align with yours
    • Consider how groups with conflicting values will resist your efforts.
    • Assess how severe resistance might be and take appropriate action to manage it
  • To use rationality to produce power relations
    • Values guide rationality. If people perceive your values undermine theirs, no amount of rationality will convince them to join you
    • Power relations produced through defining rationality to show people how your values align with theirs
    • When convincing others to help you, use the form of rationality they perceive as legitimate and then layer in other types of rationality
    • Engaging in collective reasoning is a means to produce power relations

How to manage resistance to your activities

  • Resistance may result from groups pursuing different values.
    • Values may conflict between terminal values, instrumental values, or the time scales over which actions have an effect.
    • Various tactics exist to overcome value conflicts, including firewalls, cycling, casuistry, bias, hybridization, incrementalism, compromise, and defining rationality.
  • Resistance may result from groups using different forms of rationality.
    • When various types of rationality disagree, the rationality held by the groups with more power generally prevails.
    • Even if another group’s rationality prevails over yours, you can still make progress if you have insight into the systems of values, rationality, and power governing the social setting.

How to manage when resistance turns into a fight

  • Fights between groups have several risks.
    • You might lose
    • You will create enemies.
    • The first casualty of conflict is rationality.
    • You miss out on the potential of blending rationalities.
  • Recovering after a fight
    • Seek to redress the risks of enemies you may have made
    • Even if you cannot reconcile relations, you can implement systems to maintain stability to reduce the risk of future conflicts.

How to find champions to help drive action

  • Often, champions are responsible for driving meaningful change.
  • Champions arise when an individual’s values align with the work they do
  • Seeing work that aligns with your values will motivate you to strive for significant accomplishments.
  • Recruiting individuals whose values align with the organization’s will create teams of champions


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Where to next? Copyright © 2020 by Brad C. Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book