Sample Paper on The Coordinated Management of Meaning Theory

The Coordinated management of Meaning Theory

The Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) was developed by Pearce and Cronen in 1980 (Stelter, 2013). The theory conceptualizes communication to be a progression that allows us to establish and administer social realities that are embedded in our daily communications. Wildflower & Brennan (2011) cited that the meanings arrived at are a consequence of interactions and actions. This is backed by the fact that the world offers diverse meaning of each day’s interactions. Our daily interactions as well as corporate perspectives are integrated together so as to analyze and the developments of dialogues and communications. The meanings that are arrived depend on aspects such as historical background, individual traits as well as affiliations. It is worth noting that the parties involved comprise of interpersonal systems that are critical in explaining their respective actions and responses. Both the personal traits and the interpersonal traits are crucial for the CMM theory and its application to reality.

The meaning of a communication scenario is dependent on the sources of the information. The reliability of the information should be considered before making any interpretations. The proponents of this theory argue that for the interpretation process to be effective, the persons should behave appropriately in a manner that allows the other individuals to recognize their anticipated behaviors. This goes a long way in ensuring that coexistence is not deemed as continuous and wasteful error and trial process.

The CMM theory comprises of content, speech act, episode, relationship, self-concept as well as cultural pattern. The content is usually contained in the words that are communicated loudly by the communicant. Basically, the content is perceived to be a data or information and is usually passed coded in signs, paradigms and syntagms. When analyzed alone, the content is not sufficient for establishing the meaning of the communication. Episodes refer to the face to face instances of interaction and the contexts of the communication. The same content can be interpreted differently depending on the situation and settings of the communication.

The interpretation is also affected by the relationship of the communicants. For example, the interpretations arrived at in a family set up is different from the interpretation in a formal meeting. It is worth noting that the aspects of the theory interrelate. This means that the levels of interactions and interpretation can be dependent on the episodes, the speech as well as the contents.  The responses given by the parties are dependent on the parties conception on who they are. This is coupled by the magnitude of disclosure to one another. The cultural patterns and values affect the interpretation arrived at. This is majorly because our behaviors are affected by our societal values. Moreover, our organizational values and regulations govern the workplace communication interpretations. For example, huge corporation’s employees wear suits to work and engage in business talk over lunch.

During communication, the parties are exposed to a fundamental process of negotiating similar interpretations depending on the world that surround them. This is highly affected by the social realities of the societies they live in. The talks may be affected by the cultural background of the participants. If an employee’s community doesn’t take women ideas seriously, the individual may not give chance a business idea given by a female regardless of its viability.

The theory is founded on Coherence, coordination and mystery Fisher-Yoshida, Geller & Schapiro (2009). These aspects can be used separately or combined in seeking clarification and explanation of the conversations engaged in.  Coordination happens when our life occurrences are similar to those of others. This is despite the fact that we do not have to see the world in a similar way.  Coordination is coupled by coherence as people who share similar experiences are able to share the same interpretations. Mystery makes the universe diverse and thus life has a way of creating coherence.

Because the theory is highly centered around on individual’s beliefs and experiences, metatheoretical assumptions play a critical role. The epistemology concept helps in the multiple truths that can be deduced in an experience while ontology allows people to chose the situation and act as the situations demand.

Application of CMM in problems solving

The CMM theory can be applied in real life situations to improve the quality of life. This can be done by solving critical problems that arise in our social lives. Our social words are structured differently according to what the parties are doing and what their reactions are.

CMM can generatively be used in solving the problems that arise in the decision making process among the managers in an organization. The problem with the manager is that they are out to outdo each other. This has lead to failure to give into each other opinion as one feels that his/her ideas are the best and thus the unwillingness to implement the ideas given by another individual. CMM can be used to resolve the situation by encouraging constructions of intersections of dialogues. This goes a long way in forging a communicative path crucial for helping the leaders take the ideas given by one individual as entirely owned by the team. This leads to effectiveness in the decision making process which is central to the managerial activities.

Hübner  (2007) cited that communication is performative than being referential. CMM will help the managers to understand the communicative acts and thus be able to own their individual traits. The managers should explore the diversities existing in the workplace and prioritize the interests of the organizations before their personal interests. This probe should go beyond the limits that they may be experiencing within the system and facilitate fresh realities that given time forms a new culture.

The new cultures and ethics are usually connected. The ethics tends to reflect the organizational communication as well as the way meanings are derived. The workplace network of obligation and responsibility determine the intensity at which an act is imposed. When the administration exercises greater freedom, the system tends to be weak. On the contrary, when the logic force is high, the leadership will have no choice but give to the demands of the organization.

When the organization is facing difficulties, it is important that possible strategies are explored. This helps in confronting the prevailing situations by assessing the possible implications. Thus the management will act according to the contextual and pre-figurative forces. At times, the reactions may be in accordance to practicality or implicative force.

The leaders’ may act depending on the previous contexts. This may lead to unpleasant actions which would cause destructive measures for the company. In this case, the managers will be forced to get back and agree on strategies that will push the organization to its success.

The strategies developed can be determined by the organizational history. This can be done by getting to learn and understand the web of notes and the thematic links that have existed since the company was established. This is crucial for the opportunities that could transform the organization.

During the dialogue, the nodes and links affect the episodes that entail the subjects and themes that lead to generative possibilities.  These will be significant in highlighting the experience, emotions and practices that could have the rift amongst the management. The node illuminates the possible capacities of change. This allows the participants to seize the opportunity and investigate any possibilities that could help in bettering the situation.

Mediators can be involved to help the parties get to respect the opinions given by the colleagues (Creede, Fisher-Yoshida, & Gallegos, 2012). CMM gives room for the prospective interrogation of what needs to be changed so as to construct the situation and incorporate the liking of the parties. Reflections onto the situation are brought into perspective. The reflections can be useful in creating new reflections and thus help in arriving at a solution. This is because what has not been done well will be identified and the quandary be transformed into recycling existing of possibilities.

The transformations and alterations that come with the new resolutions can be indiscernible at first. However, repetitive of the activities leads to a transformed cultures for the decision making process in the organization. This will go a long way in affecting the processes of resource orientations. The managers who were previously conflicting begin to appreciate one another. This affects levels of performance and standards of delivery. This is because the appreciation that comes from parties that were previous conflicting leads to modifications. Expansions begin to occur and this leads to positive dimensions.

The sustainability and the implementation of the new relationships should be catered for in fresh conversations. This is because the process of change does not happen automatically. The transformation process is dynamic and thus highly impacts the entire system. The mediator’s main responsibility is to ensure that a productive and healthy relationship exists within the management. Productivity in this case means a situation where the parties agree, honor and are willing to implement the ideas given by others persons in the management.



Creede, C., Fisher-Yoshida, B., & Gallegos, P. V. (2012). The reflective, facilitative, and interpretive practices of the coordinated management of meaning: Making lives, making meaning. Madison, N.J: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Fisher-Yoshida, B., Geller, K. D., & Schapiro, S. A. (2009). Innovations in transformative learning: Space, culture, & the arts. New York: Peter Lang.

Hübner, H. (2007). The communicating company: Towards an alternative theory of corporate communication. New York: Springer.

Stelter, R. (2013). A guide to third generation coaching: Narrative-collaborative theory and practice. Dordrecht: Springer.


Wildflower, L., & Brennan, D. (2011). The handbook of knowledge-based coaching: From theory to practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

The link to the book is,+L.,+%26+Brennan,+D.+%282011%29.+The+handbook+of+knowledge-based+coaching:+From+theory+to+practice.+San+Francisco,+CA:+Jossey-Bass.&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uu83VdDLI8viaMDVgTg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false