Glossary of Terms

Complex Adaptive Systems

Points within a dynamic system that draw agents within the system to them, or the set of points toward which the trajectories within a system converge over time. Pertinent to organizations, an attractor is a pattern of behavior toward which a system gravitates if uninfluenced by outside factors. In terms of the Vitality Dialogue, the potential state and the trajectory of behavior patterns within the organization can be influenced (but not controlled) by shaping the rules of interaction that create the specific experience of the organizational system.

Philosophically, the ancients thought of Chaos as the lack of order, such as the chaos of a storm. Order requires lawfulness both as scientific explanation (natural law, the loss of which could be termed "Chaos Type-1") and as nomos (social law, the loss of which could be termed "Chaos Type-2"). Chaos Type-1: If events appear to becoming chaotic, then man is faced with a decision. He can reject the development and try to stop it, on the assumption that the entering into chaos will destroy what he has. Or he can accept the development, steer through it, on the assumption that entering into chaos will be a natural phase in route to a higher development or emergent properties of a higher reorganization. Chaos Type-2: If organizations face the loss of their lawful order (anomie), man can reject this loss of meaning and fight to preserve the old order. Also, man can accept the opportunity to redefine lawful order and have society accommodate higher standards, such as better distribution of wealth, sustainable economic growth, or world peace. Chaos is a loss of sufficient order normally established through social or natural laws. On the other hand, the Abyss is a loss of sufficient structure and explanation, whether structure provided by the process of belief or structure provided by the process of perception. Note that much of the dynamics of natural and social evolution may take place in the phase transition on the "edge of chaos" or the emergence of properties from interactions of elements in complex systems.

The relationship among individuals who can form into relationships, teams, and groups to produce new approaches and solutions tosituations. Moving beyond the metaphysical illusion of isolated consciousness to integrate different ideas and perspectives.

Systems that facilitate Systems adaptation to the environment by having agents that respond to disadvantageous or disfunctional conditions and cluster around new possibilities (Strange Attractors) to allow emergence of a new system not predictable from the prior system.

A theory of complex processes and how they shift from disadvantageous or disfunctional conditions to new systems.

The underlying relationships among all things. In science it is found as physical laws. In biology it is found as ecological balance. In society it is found as relationships and the fabric of culture. In ontology it is found as the spectrum principle.

A constructive tension bhere both competition and cooperation between agents are pursued, contributing to their mutual benefit. Coherent behavior within a system arises from the interplay of competition and cooperation among the agents.

Within the Fitness Landscaoe, every agent attempts to maximize its own survival potential by continually modifying its strategy in an attempt to become more "fit," steadily moving its strategic position "uphill" closer and closer to a peak. Changing strategy changes an agent's relative advantage or disadvantage to every other agent, moving it to a different point on the landscape. At the same time, the other agents can potentially change their own strategy in response to this shift. So the landscape for the system continually shifts through this parallel advantage-seeking, or coevolution, of the various agents. This means that successfully making your way to a peak is no guarantee that you can stay there because the peak may shift right out from under you!

A term coined by economist Joseph Schumpeter to describe capitalism's inescapable "perennial gale" of qualitative change, the "process of industrial mutation ...that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism. It is what capitalism consists in and what every capitalist concern has got to live in. . ." It is an accurate description of the fitness landscape from an economic perspective.

A system whose dynamics are stable and recognizable, but which requires input of energy from outside the system to continually renew the system's stability. Without access to and/or the ability to capture and process external energy, the system collapses.

The balance point, or "phase transition" in a system where the components never quite lock into place, and never quite dissolve into turbulence, giving rise to new behaviors upon which adaptation is contingent. In organizations, it is the interval between the place where rules and conformity impose inhibiting rigidity, and the place where turbulence and factionalism create fragmentation and disintegration. In terms of the Vitality Dialogue, it is the bounded instability of the "Space for Creativity", stable enough that information can be stored, and evanescent enough that information is transmitted freely, where all employees feel safe enough to contribute in all aspects of their fluctuating identity because trust sufficient for honest and self-reflective interaction can exist and be sustained, and exploratory and creative activity can survive.

Unintended, unanticipated, unpredictable global patterns of behavior that arise through the spontaneous activity of interdependent agents acting according to their own perceived best interests and rules of behavior. This can include a recognition that their own best interests are consistent with 'best outcomes' for the system as a whole.  The Units self-organize or are organized so that unique properties emerge that were not there before, and these properties cannot be reduced to the properties of the underlying systems. Through emergent behavior, a complex system acquires properties that none of the agents possess on their own, and therefore cannot be ascribed to the attributes of the individual agents in the system.

The movement defined by Newton's Second Law of Thermodynamics that states that any system tends to move toward a disorganized condition. Essentially, energy spontaneously tends to flow in only one direction, from being concentrated on one place to becoming diffused or dispersed.

A system state due to feedback mechanisms that dampen or eliminate variations from that state. In thermodynamics, equilibrium is the condition of maximum entropy, or inertness, when forward or reverse reactions compensate for one another, so there is no longer any lasting variation. By definition, a complex adaptative system cannot reach equilibrium and survive.

"Fitness" in this sense is the suitability of the strategy that a given agent pursues to achieve its purpose: its survival or success compared to the relative suitability of the strategies used by other agents in the system or their fitness. A three-dimensional plot of the fitness of all the potential strategies that could be employed by the agents that compose the system environment gives us a fitness landscape. This landscape consists of a range of valleys whose heights and depths correspond to the advantage or disadvantage that a given strategy offers compared to the other potential strategies. The peaks represent strategies that lead to success; the valleys represent strategies that lead to extinction.

A term coined by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot to signify the expression of the geometry of nature. Fractals are the inherent patterns, repetitions, and high level order that become visible through magnification of seemingly chaotic movement and processes, in natural phenomena ranging from snowflakes and crystals to clouds, canyons, and seacoasts. It is also evident in life forms such as coral, cauliflower, ferns and the human lung and vascular system.

A process that compares outcomes to a predetermined target, determines deviations from that target, and feeds information about deviations into a process that precribes choices for action to remove the deviation. In organizations it is the process of intentional development and control that damps down change and secures stability. These anomalies in the traditional "equilibrium" organization would be seen as a deviation from preordained conditions, established norms, or the status quo, and duly eliminated through a deterministic set of rules that discounts nonlinear elements to the system.

The science of unpredictable causality, due to a web of complex connections that dictate that the slightest change in one place potentially causes tremors throughout the system. Contrary to classical physics, nonlinear dynamics postulates that the whole is frequently greater than the sum of its parts. In a nonlinear system, tiny perturbations potentially produce effects at a distance, defying predictability, creating rich patterns of behavior and stable structures that are far-from-equilibrium (i.e. uncontrolled by negative feedback loops that would otherwise eliminate variations.)

A state where actions can have multiple outcomes or generate nonproportional outcomes, where minor disturbances or variations from the norm can have unpredictable, potentially exponential consequences. The outcome of nonlinear phenomena are ultimately beyond specific control.

A process that amplifies deviation from expected norms, destabilizing the system in nonlinear ways, meaning small events can potentially and unpredictably have large consequences. In a positive feedback loop, success tends to be reinforced, and loss tends to be aggravated. This is antithetical to the predominating equilibrium-oriented organizational performance models. Increasing returns generate instability and move further away from equilibrium. Its final outcome is not predictable. There is no control mechanism that returns the system to the previous state. In organizations, positive feedback loops frequently occur in the informal, or shadow, system, as reactions to events or ideas gain a constitutency and displace the recognized set of rules. With sufficient amplification, the status quo is destroyed and innovation results.

The classic approach to science, 'reducing' complicated phenomena to its components, and then to its basic parts, to determine fundamental laws that explain how the world works.

The spontaneous gravitation of simultaneously independent and interdependent agents who, operating for their own benefit and by their own rules, converge into emergent patterns of behavior that tend to maximize the likelihood of mutual success.

A system with a naturally intricately interlocking set of subsystems, where fluctuation of components moving through the system regularly result in minor breakdowns and rearrangements in the system's stability, and occasionally result in catastrophic breakdown, or "extinction events" of various sizes.

A term used by Ralph Stacey to describe the set of interactions among members of an organization that are outside the rules prescribed by the legitimate organizational system. It is the Informal system where experimentation, play, innovation, politics, and pursuit of personal gain take place. It is a hotbed for the drivers of enchantment and disenchantment.

In general terms within a dynamical system, an attractor is a point or set of points that a trajectories of the system tend to converge upon over time. Influences such as frictions, energy or information flows, or pressure change the behavior of the system, while control parameters place boundaries on the limits of behavior. In the absence of outside disturbances, the system tends to settle into a pattern, but in a non-linear system, feedback networks can produce details of behavior that are not predictable and can become very unstable. A strange attractor is stable in the sense that trajectories are constrained by its control parameters, but unstable in that small differences in initial conditions can result in rapid and exponential divergence in potential trajectories resulting in large differences in system behavior.-


Organizational Vitality

First phase for advanced spiritual growth – strength and mastery of the physical instincts and drives, such as hunger, sex, etc. Second phase for advanced spiritual growth – mastery of the whims and impulses of emotional indulgence. Emotions are pushes and pulls, attractions and fears, of the sixth ontological plane, also known as the plane were most dreams occur. What is now called "Emotional Intelligence" is really a theory that could have been named Intelligence through Feeling, since we can have insight through feelings from above the sixth ontological plane. Third phase for advanced spiritual growth begins with concrete use of the mind for practical problems; a higher level of growth occurs as people learn how to use their abstract mind – here begins mastery of the rigidity of mental models, Any theoretical study will begin to foster this level of growth. As it progresses further, this is sometimes described as a light in the heart, which is symbolic for one's authentic inner center. Fourth phase for advanced spiritual growth – mastery of will, ability to sacrifice for a higher cause and join sacrifice with joy. This is the early stage of developing group consciousness. Fifth phase for advanced spiritual growth – mastery of internal and external processes

Intellectual Assets is a term that focuses on intangible knowledge-based assets that have the potential to provide a return on investment (ROI) while other intangibles are reputation, market position, and perceptions of the company.

Temporal Assets are assets whose financial value is limited within specific definable time period. The "formula" for success is simply to become capable of changing faster than one's market context in providing value-added products and services. In Lazy Markets that factor of temporal assets is obscured because a company has the luxury of enough time to lumber along with the many-layered vertical organization of Top-Down, Centralized decision making by a few executives for the many workers and leveraging of mass structures like economies of scale. The demands placed by Dynamic Markets bring forth a value and favor more horizontal organizations that have factors like distributed leadership and teams who align with the hidden soul of Capitalism: creatively flexible, ethically dedicated, and able to span multiple perspectives. Time amplification is an expansion due to these factors of the time phases of the life-cycle within which the things find their place and thereby creates temporal assets.

The positive side of authenticity is its support of worthwhile goals. We develop a theory of human potential and call the pre-organized assistance of reaching that goal authenticity. We call what retards or blocks it inauthenticity. As we shall see, advanced spiritualism has a more vast view of human potential and stages of transformation, so in light of those goals we may succeed in identifying authentic tacit structures that others would be unable to see as of benefit to their ordinary lives. The negative side of authenticity reduces it to a function. In psychological or sociological terms, this view to what benefits a program is called functionalism and is not necessarily ethical. However, when we have a deeper, ontological understanding of the authentic potential, we will see that it is positive because it is intrinsically bound up with the Common Good.

An existental state of not needing to be actively engaged in an activity (doing).

Questions that put pressure on the limits of the possibility horizon assumed by an individual, group, or culture, by menacing the assumptions and presupposition of the prevailing beliefs. When a question does not make sense to most of those being queried, it is almost always being asked from outside the horizon. They often involve elements that the culture, or the dominant paradigm, considers nonsense, insane, or impossible. Therefore, boundary questions, although often very important, are usually difficult to distinguish from what the culture considers nonsense, madness, or otherwise excluded by definition.

(Three) 'C's OF INNOVATION - Collaboration (respectful relationship with EQ abilities); Creativity (safe space criteria); Contribution (participating actively).

A prime principle for ethics and a moral code. In the abstract it is easy to say we should do what is good for everyone in common. In practice many choices cannot result in white or black but wander in the gray areas. Thus, the Common Good has been sometimes reformulated to be "the greatest good for the greatest number." But that principle turns ethics into a matter of democratic vote or even a hostage of the whims of the masses. More truthfully, the Common Good must be held up as serving the general goal of spiritual evolution which is common to us all.

A group or class of people having a common interest or identity who can easily communicate due to living in a specified locality or technological linkage.

Are composed of a diversity of agents that interact with each other, mutually affect and influence each other, and in so doing generate novel behavior for the system as a whole.

The integration of various knowledge disciplines for the purpose of greater understanding and meaning making. Biologist E. O. Wilson defined it as "Literally a 'jumping together' of knowledge by the linking of facts and fact-based theory across disciplines to create a common groundwork of explanation" in his 1998 book, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge.

An organizational approach to social responsibility that structures an ongoing inter-stakeholder communicative platform (Constitution) upon which to generate discussion and solutions about issues of workplace social justice, ethical behaviors, and humanist concerns. This involves linking an ethical system to socially responsible governance, including stakeholder balance. The constitutional project orients our thinking, decision making and judgments across elements of the organization's vision and mission, its concepts and perspective of justice and fairness. It anchors these elements in common ethical, value, and behavioral systems, consistent articulation and execution of rewards and consequences, and ongoing education and training in communicative competencies, equity perspectives, and corporate citizenship.

To frame or reframe a problem or issue through bringing to the surface the situation's underlying presuppositions, cultural influences, historical discourses, and potential solutions, allowing those involved to learn and be able to ethically choose appropriate behaviors which reflect either their individual or the organization's inherent value systems.

To uncover the broad range of the variables underlying the social constellation of a situation between individuals within a given sociological system, specifically for our purposes, at work.

The accumulated integration of the employee with the organization-wide values that impose themselves on company employees and thereby guide the choices employees make. If those values are violated within the organization, the employee behavior is shaped by lack of rewards or by punishments, just as in the larger society. The corporate socialization process also is composed of organization-wide principles that explain what is right for the organization. It is the principles and values that can be used to explain why things are done a certain way in a specific company. The implications of this shaping activity (similar to socialization in a society) are that the employee becomes a "Company Man," or a "Company Woman."

The beliefs, customs, practices and social behavior of a particular group, nation, or people. The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, values, customs and all other products of human work and thought to guide the cultural group's worldview and decision-making.

Using culture as a differentiating marker, most often in a negative light, creating an absolute otherness that places purported members of that culture into a concretely defining and dehumanized category in a similar way that racism does.

In critical theory, to break down and analyze a concept, a claim, or a terminology to find the rationale and historic evolution as a way to establish its validity in reality or illuminate the more accurate truths inherent in the statement; this technique is often used in an effort to expose existing hierarchical power relationships or dualistic thinking that have given rise to the status quo, primarily by uncovering a way of understanding the relationships between those in its sphere.

In organizations, the deadening sense of loss, disillusion, or demotivation that occurs when the organizational experience falls significantly short of the organizational rhetoric. It is often the result of a track record of decisions made which are inherently incompatible with espoused core values, or by inconsistent reward mechanisms, or by other violations of trust. Symptoms might include dysphoria (anxiety run loose, insecurtity, fear, dread) among employees; a prevalent amount of meaningless information; disembodied management communications language that alienates; and/or a loss of legitimacy in management or leadership. The combination often produces an organizational shadow system rife with rumors and alternative power scenarios.

To be actively engaged in activity with a purpose of accomplishing something.

To free the individual from all forms of discrimination, oppression and domination, including language. Emancipation not only eliminates barriers to employment, self-esteem, civic participation, and citizenship privileges, but it also reinvents language. Discourses and narratives are reworked to include diversity, multiplicity, hybridity and identities in relations as opposed to the language of bipolar superiority-inferiority or totality-particularity. This shift empowers the individual by articulating the right to be different, and fundamentally changing the ways in which the definition of identity (hence the me) is understood.

Behavioral capabilities in the face of emotional situations that allow an individual to cope and react in difficult circumstances in a way that is effective and constructive both for themself and for others involved. Originally formulated by Daniel Goleman in his book Emotional Intelligence in 1995.

A sense of awe and wonder at being in the world; in organizations, the sense of encouragement and involvement with the workplace. Enchantment elements in the work environment refer to joyful attachment, enamored existence, affective fascination, and a playful ethics of generosity in encountering other beings. Enchantment provides the affect in motivation as people seek more meaning in what they do at work. The safe space for creativity elements are some of the enchantment variables present in vitality based organizations.

Like reification, it is about subsuming and reducing the multifarious nature of life, of 'being', of a person, into a simplistic item, usually a biological element or a cultural variable. For example, to say one is essentially black is to collapse everything about this person to the speaker's projected idea of what the essence of blackness is.

A system of values and principles governing the appropriate conduct for an individual or group. A philosophical position about the Good that can be defended with justification by reasons and argument, usually (not always) with a claim to universal validity. Ethics are accepted because people analyze the validity claim and agree that it is reasonable. Ethics is rooted in time, so it is co-primary with history (what was) and existence (what is). Different groups, different cultures, and different professions have differing sets of ethical principles. Ethics is the philosophical (or theological) study of best practices and a defense of proscriptions. Therefore, it is important for an ethic to be reasonable, possible, and directional. An ethic is reasonable if it is capable of argued defense, not just arbitrary or asserted on blind faith. An ethic is possible if most people can achieve the standards it sets (not meaning that they always actually do, but that they could if it were important enough). An ethic is directional if it shows us the way to change, transform and evolve. Thus, by implication, what is not feasible now could become feasible in the future as we develop more, transform through latent capacities, and evolve. Your ethics are the principles that govern the behavior by which you live and by which you identify and pursue your goals -- and determine what is worthwhile. The personal application of this results in the ability to stand up, in service of your ethical principles, against all of the various and conflicting forces in society.

One type of creativity; it is the type that involves the principles and standards of the Good being applied to the creative applications of individuals. If we have nothing to restrain the actions of individuals who seek to be creative, then the results are multiplications of isolated individuals whose actions are ungoverned by common principles.

The organizational framework or structure, not unlike the grammatical structure of language, that guides collaborative and respectful behaviors between employees, and of employees with other stakeholders, including customers, clients, suppliers, financial communities, and the communities in which we live. It is centered on the values of the organization and embedded in the constitutional project of the organization that further embraces the organizational vision and management systems. These values drive the ethics and the authenticity of the organization's social responsibility.

To establish the historical context and lineage of phenomenon by retracing the prior and accumulating ideas, events, and choices that have led to the current condition.

Something made up of a mixture of different elements. A hybrid identity is when a person identifies with the multiple cultural or other sources of meaning-making in their lives.

Intelligence (knowledge); Ideas (non bi-polar thinking); Identity (authentic, protean, fractal); Information (accessible, anytime, anywhere).

The aggressive posturing of one's primary identity as the source of all meaning and being for an individual. It takes multiple forms, including political or social activism; dress; speaking and acting 'authentically'; victimization; and fundamentalism.

Data organized in terms of concepts, beliefs, and/or interpretations.

The trustworthiness of the individual to do what is right. Integrity is used both (1) as structural strength of materials or the ability of an entity to hold together under stress, and (2) as moral strength or the ability of an individual agent or an organization to hold to the right principles even under stress to do otherwise. Both senses of integrity mean enduring over time. Integrity exists when the whole is integrated across all aspects of its structure, when elements of any aspect are not inconsistent with elements of any other aspects. In human terms. maintaining integrity springs from an understanding and acceptance of the principles by which you live and in relation to your goals as a basis for the ability to stand up against all of the various and conflicting forces in society.

Differentiated from information and data by our activity of validating it. Popper described it as what we discover through a searching process and preserve in our world of propositions, truths, and enduring forms, which takes on a life of its own by accumulating knowledge, theories, models, and trends that we use to confirm propositions about our world of things.

Standards of conduct within a society that are accepted as right or wrong, usually according to a specific version of sacred text, such as the Bible, Talmud, Koran or other recognized sacred document.

Provides the ongoing context in which the figures / persons in a discourse are embedded and get their meanings, their sense and their reference. It provides the horizon of possible meanings that are used in the discourse. They are the big stories, such as the narrative of progress, or the American narrative of democracy and liberty. It provides the ontological structure of human experience. Narratives speak at people, while discourses are spoken by a person, about themselves (Cf. Schrag, 1997, pp26-27).

The theory of being; we always have one whether it is an expressed theory or a tacit theory. As a tacit theory, it is relatively less accessible to consciousness and harder to correct. When we make our ontology an expressed one, we can begin to examine it and attempt to improve it. Once a consciousness excludes creation of or awareness of something, it does so selectively on the basis of an ontologically modeled theory of what is real and what is not. So ontology is the study of being, as well as the denial of being to some possibilities.

To describe the social constellation of living beings as they unfold, evolve and grow, instead of seeing them as objects or things. Looking at both the experience of being itself with the social structures.

A condition of fragmented organizations where a vacuum of leadership, values and mission leads to garbage-can decision making, weak ties, diversity run amok, information overload and anything goes relativist models of acculturation.

The underlying values, beliefs, principles, systems, assumptions that serve as a foundation for the organization's management and behavioral systems, as a set of management practices and behaviors that both exemplify and reinforce those principles, and ultimately drive employee and management behaviors and decisions.

An anti-life, anti-diversity business culture that focuses on short term shareholder value at the expense of being out of balance with other stakeholders such as employees, suppliers and/or customer relations.

A condition of the hierarchical, ex officio authority organization where conformity and fear are dominant, information is protected and given out on a 'need to know basis' only, assimilation is the preferred acculturation model alongside of segregation and exclusion, and a strong established "good old boy network" thrives.

A condition of a balanced organizational culture that values pluralism, is grounded in an ethical system, values creativity, recognizes the central contribution of human diversity, and fosters innovation.

A key example that articulates a theory. The concept was expanded by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. He defines it as such powerful examples that students who learned a scientific paradigm would then see the possible avenues of experimentation, thought, and proof in terms of what was valid in the paradigm. In effect, a powerful paradigm defined what was possible and what would be rejected (or even simply not seen) as impossible.

The process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practised, embodied, or realized. The intersection of theory with practice into application.

An implicit assumption about the world or background belief that must be shared between parties if the truth of a truth claim is to be taken for granted in discourse, Presuppositions need to be revealed in order to find out what guides perception, feeling, thought and action. Consistent use of presuppositions means that a person continues to see and do things in ways similar to what he has done in the past. In this sense, presuppositions are key aspects defining a horizon with its range of types and variations of possibilities. Often, when presuppositions are revealed, a person sees what he has been interpreting in an expanded context, no longer limited to what the presuppositions imply. Thus, powerful insight can be gained based on connecting hidden presuppositions to perception and interpretation.

The process that determines which groups of individuals are superior / inferior; typical / atypical; universal / particular.

The ever adapting and evolving identities one has in relationship with others and with changing situations. The fractal sense of hybridity, multiplicity and learning one has with the world outside of themself.

The reduction of a human being or a work of art or an idea into a material object, from the Latin res: thing. This reification takes place when the value of anything like a human being is obscured by its exchange value, by its worth when it is sold. It is a reductionist gesture that makes 'things' out of living beings or art.

Taken from the philosopher F. Nietzsche, it means the repeated negative response, the persistent emotional movement of hostility that, nonetheless, cannot be overtly expressed so must remain repressed. It accumulates in social situations such as Euro-American businesses where a general assumption of equality among all human beings is prevalent, yet, contrarily, a persistent inequity and discriminatory practice occurs. It is part of the legitimation crisis between 'the talk' and 'the walk' of management. It is externalized when a particular person or group can be identified as the cause for one's privation, or for one's impotence in making changes to the situation that we perceive to be injuring us.

Having an average expected environment at work whereby one feels that the disenchantment drivers toward anxiety, fear, dread, melancholy and stress are contained for the working individual, allowing for self-expression that encourages creativity made possible by the contributions of the individual's and the group's multiplicity of identities.

A Team capable of doing the ethical creativity, innovation, planning, organizing, implementation, monitoring, error-correcting, and continuous improving that would otherwise be imposed on it by an outside manager. SMTs do this through distributed leadership, fluidly selecting among varying ad hoc leaders, often selected situationally,  governed by competency and knowledge based considerations.

A group of people who have had different experiences from those of the dominant culture by status, ethnic background, residence, religion, education, power, or other factors that functionally unify the group and act collectively on its members.

A theory of C.G. Jung that events can happen together here on earth because they are coordinated by other forces. The opposite would be coincidence where unexpected things happen for no reason.

The tacit dimension includes all of those aspects of our reality which are not recognized but which nevertheless operate to shape and affect what we do see. Tacitness is similar to unconsciousness in that it functions whether we realized it or not. However, the tacit is not impulsive or wildly instinctive; instead it is an organized substructure which allows the recognized things to take place.

Principles and standards that have meaning and worth to an individual, family, group, or community/organization. They are associated with what is important to a cultural or ethnic group or individual. The work of Abraham Maslow recognized that values and needs are closely related. Just as there is a hierarchy of needs from physical to social to spiritual, so also there are hierarchies of values. On the vertical axis, our choices are made in terms of our values, and our values are justified by our higher order rationales, principles, and beliefs. When a person moves up the hierarchy of needs, their values also shift; eventually, they begin to function on higher Planes and in that fashion become no longer satisfied by the things valued by worldly societies.

The body of organizational attributes informed and integrated by the sciences of complexity, identity theory and critical social theory applied to the business environment. The process of building an organizational culture based on vitality.

One whose suffering is lived as identity, who spreads their suffering by blaming others instead of taking responsibility and empowerment to dismantle the structures and processes of subordination.


Language Related to Management Approaches to Inclusion and Diversity

A process of change in the cultural behavior of one group through contact with another culture.

Results-oriented, legally permissible actions which are taken to enhance the opportunities for employment and advancement of covered employees and applicants for employment. Its purpose is intended to promote the opportunities of defined groups within a society, often instituted in government and educational settings to ensure that minority groups within a society are not excuded from programs. Its proponents see affirmative action as a way to compensate for past discrimination, persecution or exploitation by the ruling class of a culture, and to address existing discrimination. The implementation of affirmative action, especially in the United States, is considered by its proponents to be justified by disparate impact.

A set of biological markers by which individuals or groups are pre-judged, such that they are discriminated against. Also, differences in the manifestations and historical contexts that give shape and form to the ways in which various prejudices evidence themselves in a given society. For example, the assumptions and cultural markers behind sexist behavior are different than those behind racist behavior. Comparably, the experience of racism for a Black person in the United States is most often very different from the experience of racism for a Black person in France or India.

To integrate someone or group of people into the larger group such that differences are eliminated or marginalized.

The system of common beliefs, shared meanings, norms and traditions that distinguish one group of people from another. It is a learned and assimilated set of skills, knowledges and beliefs, including presuppositions and assumptions.

Having the knowledge, understanding and skills regarding a diverse culture, in effect, allowing that person to interact and to provide appropriate service to members of that culture in a way respectful of its value and belief system.

In organizations, the different and unique identities with the varied perspectives and the multiple approaches to work that individuals can contribute. These identities are formed at the individual, group and organizational levels. It consists of an orientation, abilities, cognitive and religious diversity, linguistic and job position diversity and related identities that people use to make meaning in their lives and at work.

Administration of all employment decisions and personnel policies without regard to such factors such as race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, cognitive style, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or status as a special disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era.

A heterogeneous population distinguished by customs or characteristics, language, common history and/or national origin.

A comparative stance whereby some think that their ways of thinking, acting, and believing are the only right, proper, and natural ones and to believe that those who differ are strange, bizarre, or unenlightened.

The biological sex (male or female) with which we are born. It is determined by our chromosomes, it is influenced by our hormones, and it is evidenced by our genitalia.

Building business strength and competitive advantage by managing diversity. This approach arose in the 1990s when businesses began to ask "what can diversity do for us?"

The coexistence and modus vivendi (conscious projection of tolerance and value) of multiple and varied cultures within the same organization.

Merging best practices and integrating them into an organizational design and management philosophy that builds organizational vitality and ethical pluralism in recognition that a diverse workforce is a critical element in 21st century organizations adapting to rapidly shifting environments contained in dynamic market companies. This praxis correlates the best practices of former diversity management approaches with the paradigm shifts in the sciences to establish diversity as a strategic component of the overall business mission.

Having groups with different ethnic, religious, or political backgrounds within one society. An acculturation process of mutual adaptation into an organization or society.

Pertaining to any of the different variations of mankind distinguished by form of hair, color of skin, shape of eyes, stature, bodily proportions. The three major recognized racial categories are the Negroid, the Mongoloid, and the Caucasian. These racial distinctions are increasingly seen as unscientific and socially constructed.

The placement of humanity into strictly differentiated categories such that the racist's racial category is seen as superior, typical of humanity, beautiful, and universally representative of mankind. The people in the 'other' categories are therefore marginalized and dehumanized.


The factors that determines to whom and how we are erotically and affectively attracted and the manner in which that attraction is experienced or expresed. It is influenced by a variety of factors: genetic, environmental, and hormonal. There are three sexual orientations: homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual. Sexual identity influences and informs how we experience our sexuality emotionally, visually, and kinesthetically.

Recognizing and respecting the value of human differences. This approach emerged in the 1970s as a result of EEO and AA. It seeks to answer the question "how can we all get along and fulfill our target requirements?"

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