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Inventing the future: A meta -ethnographic analysis towards understanding the process of *individual and organizational adaptive strategies to *change

Fathul Himam, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study explores and analyzes individual and organizational strategies for adapting to changing situations. It was developed to identify strategic processes of adaptation practiced by individuals and organizations to overcome chaotic change situations that occur within organizations and their relevant environments. Meta-ethnography was applied to analyze 21 journal articles and dissertations in an attempt to synthesize and reinterpret research-based understandings about individual and organizational adaptive behavior. This study reveals six themes or metaphors that describe individual strategies for dealing with change, as well as their respective components, which provide more elaborate descriptions and explanations of the themes. ^ The individual themes are: sense-making, acquisition of skills to make the transition, facilitation of a process of self-discovery, cloaking tactic, entrepreneurship, and development of collegiality. In terms of organizational strategies, seven themes emerged: affirmation of the mission, operational adjustment, commitment to people, continuous experimentation and learning, facilitative leadership, movement into new markets, and innovative alliances. All these themes explain the ways individuals and organizations strategically react to changing conditions. ^ Discussion of each strategy begins with a basic explanation of its purpose (i.e. basic ground), then proceeds through a description of action-oriented behaviors, and concludes with analysis of the results of the actions taken. Furthermore, it is explained that these behavioral strategies evolve from latent behaviors and progressed through more concrete behaviors. A final analysis of these processes, leads to the conclusion that all strategies basically move toward the attainment of the ultimate theme “inventing the future”, a visionary understanding of the one-major direction individuals and organizations follow in dealing with chaotic situations of change: to survive in the future. ^

Subject Area

Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Industrial|Education, Educational Psychology

Recommended Citation

Himam, Fathul, "Inventing the future: A meta -ethnographic analysis towards understanding the process of *individual and organizational adaptive strategies to *change" (2002). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3055275.