“Framing is a process involving selecting and highlighting certain aspects of a topic while excluding or downplaying others.” VonBergen & Parnell. Effective Framing Leah Anne Brooks Behavioral Management Fall 2007
Framing…What can it do for me? Framing: The tendency for people to make different decisions based on how the problem is presented to them. • Organizations are a cacophony of complementary and competing change attempts, with managers at all levels joining the fray and pushing for issues of particular importance to themselves. • A more accurate portrayal of most organizations may be as a pluralistic marketplace of ideas in which issues are “sold” via the persuasive efforts of managers and “bought” by top managers who set the firm’s strategic direction. (Dutton, Ashford, 2001)
Group Exercise Role play a scenario where your group is interviewing for a new entry-level supervisor. Take turns being the job candidate. Ask the interviewee to describe, in an open-ended fashion, a successful attempt on their part to bring an issue to the attention of top management. Describe the major milestones in the process and how they interpreted them. Include details such as who was involved in the process, how were they involved, what seemed to work well and what things could have been done differently.
Framing Types Attribute Goal Risky Choice Several kinds of frames have been identified that cast the same information in either a positive or negative perspective. Attribute framing –evaluating more positively when information is presented in positive terms than in negative terms. Goal framing – being more strongly persuaded by information framed in negative terms than in positive terms. Risky choice framing – avoiding risks when a decision is formulated in terms of gain and accepting risk when put in terms of loss.
Framing is a process of moves… Just as marketing has their 4 P’s…product, place, price and promotion. Framing has 4 processes: packaging, involvement, choice-of-channel and formality.
Packaging Moves Packaging Moves = Content Presentation Type Attachment • Content framing of the issue • Implying Responsibility • Presentation of the issue • Use emotional or novel terms • Continuous proposal making • The type of appeal used • One-sided or two-sided • Attaching the issue with other issues to enhance the chances of gaining attention • Stand alone issue or grouped together
Involvement Moves Specifically… The targets of involvement & The nature of the involvement & The timing of the involvement Research suggests that involving others while framing an issue can positively impact the success of the framing attempt. Involving others in framing attempts makes an issue more visible and helps to create larger, potentially more powerful coalitions. This builds commitment to the issue and its resolution and helps to ensure that attention and action are devoted to the issue. (Dutton, Ashford, O’Neill, Lawrence, 2001.)
Choice-of-Channel Moves Decisions… Decisions… Decisions… • Public • Private • Individual • Group • Meeting • Written communication • Letters • Email
Formality Moves Choosing the right level of formality helps to create a successful framing attempt. Formality includes the level of management involved as well as the communication process (verbal, formal letter, e-mail, etc…)
Group Exercise As a group, discuss some creative speaking techniques. See how many alternative frames your group can create for the following frames. • Blaming others • Whistle blowing • Ambitious • Perfectionist • Aggressive • Job • Manipulate
Framing Implications for Managers “Framing deals with how the presentation of information influences audience interpretations and represents a useful means of presenting ones perspective, with an eye toward persuading others.” Von Bergen & Parnell • Utilize framing techniques to your advantage. • Watch for and neutralize others attempts to frame a situation. • Anticipate opportunities for framing by others and take steps to avoid them. • Resist the temptation to overly frame a situation. • Consider if there is any way to interpret an upsetting situation or thing so that you or others can feel differently about the issue. • Educate others in the organization on the merits and concerns associated with framing.
Final Thought Humans have the vicarious worlds of other humans that they can invoke as mediators of actions into the present through the use of language, symbols, artifacts, and conventions. (Tenkasi, Ramkrishnan V. and Hay, George W., 2004)
Adams, R. J., & Jennings, K. M. (1993). Media advocacy: A case study of Philip Sokolof’s cholesterol awareness campaigns. The Journal of Consumer Affairs, 27, 145-166. Dutton, J. E., Ashford, S. J., O’Neill, R. M., & Lawrence, K. A. (2001). Moves that matter: Issue selling and organizational change. Academy of Management Journal, 44, 716-736. Tenkasi, R. V., & Hay, G. W. (2004). Actionable knowledge and scholar-practitioners: A process model of theory-practice linkages. Systematic Practice and Action Research, 17, 177-206. Von Bergen, C. W., Parnell, J. A. (n d). Framing in organizations: Overview, assessment & implications. References