Penman & Jensen: Making Better Social Worlds

“BookPenman, R., & Jensen, A. (2019). Making Better Social Worlds: Inspirations from the Theory of the Coordinated Management of Meaning. Oracle, AZ: CMM Institute Press.

Barnett Pearce invited us all to make better social worlds. Penman and Jensen show us how to begin—how to cross the wide gap between wanting to make a better social world and actually beginning to do so.  – Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz

Making Better Social Worlds: Inspirations from the Theory of the Coordinated Management of Meaning is a companion volume to the Cosmopolis2045 website. It serves as a fitting first book from the new CMMi Press. The book offers a clear and comprehensive account of how the theory of the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) can be used to help us rise to the challenges of 21st century life with its political turmoil, social divisiveness and increasing moral bankruptcy. Making Better Social Worlds describes how we create our social worlds in communication, that our relationships with people matter deeply to the quality of our lives and that living with difference enriches us. Readers are offered a new mindset that is relationship-orientated, self-reflexive and morally attuned, along with what it means to engage in joint action, dialogue and cosmopolitan communication, to show how changing our communication practices can bring about social and cultural change.

Key Concept #4: Coordinated Management of Meaning Translated into Persian

Key Concepts in ICDContinuing translations of Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, today I am posting KC4: Coordinated Management of Meaning, which Robyn Penman wrote and first published in English in 2014, which Ramin Hajian Fard has now translated into Persian.

As always, all Key Concepts are available as free PDFs; just click on the thumbnail to download. Lists of Key Concepts organized chronologically by publication date and number, alphabetically by concept, and by languages into which they have been translated, are available, as is a page of acknowledgments with the names of all authors, translators, and reviewers.

KC4 CMM_PersianPenman, R. (2016). Coordinated Management of Meaning [Persian]. (R. H. Fard, Trans). Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 4. Available from:
https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/kc4-cmm_persian-revised.pdf

If you are interested in translating one of the Key Concepts, please contact me for approval first because dozens are currently in process. As always, if there is a concept you think should be written up as one of the Key Concepts, whether in English or any other language, propose it. If you are new to CID, please provide a brief resume. This opportunity is open to masters students and above, on the assumption that some familiarity with academic conventions generally, and discussion of intercultural dialogue specifically, are useful.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Beth Fisher-Yoshida Researcher Profile

Researcher ProfilesDr. Beth Fisher-Yoshida is a Facilitator, Educator, Mediator and Executive Coach, who partners with clients to develop initiatives that will foster change resulting in improved communication, organizational performance and quality of life.

Beth Fisher-Yoshida

She is President and CEO of Fisher Yoshida International, LLC, and clients have included global organizations in the Fortune 100, private sector, nonprofit and government sectors, military and security forces, communities, school districts and academic institutions. Dr. Fisher-Yoshida is Director and Faculty of the Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution and Co-Chair of the Advanced Consortium for Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4) at the Earth Institute, both at Columbia University. She serves on the Boards of the CMM Institute for Personal and Social Evolution, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, and the International Advisory Board of Sunkhronos Institue.

Dr. Fisher-Yoshida takes a systemic approach to working on complex issues with multiple stakeholders through facilitated, interdisciplinary collaborative processes. She has more than 25 years experience in the areas of change management; leadership development; conflict resolution management systems, negotiation and mediation; intercultural communication and diversity; team development and effectiveness; and performance management. She has worked globally across a variety of industries including Asia and the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America, in finance, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, education, military and the arts.

Dr. Fisher-Yoshida has been working globally with the United Nations and WHO as an external consultant for more than 18 years. She worked as faculty in the Eisenhower Leadership Development Program, a joint collaboration between West Point and Columbia University. Prior to that she was a Training Manager with McKinsey & Company, Japan, a management-consulting firm that focuses on working with top leadership and management on strategy.

She has published many articles, chapters, and has authored and edited books. Her main areas of expertise in consulting and writing involve conflict resolution and collaborative processes, intercultural communication, transformative learning and Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM), which takes a communication perspective.

Dr. Fisher-Yoshida received her Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems and MA in Organization Development from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. She graduated with honors when she received her MA from Columbia University. She received both a BA and a BS from Buffalo State College. Dr. Fisher-Yoshida is a Certified Clinical Sociologist (CCS). She speaks conversational Japanese and lived and worked in Japan for 13 years.

Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue #4: CMM by Robyn Penman

Key Concepts in ICDThe next issue of Key Concepts in intercultural Dialogue is now available. This is KC4: Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) by Robyn Penman. As always, all Key Concepts are available as free PDFs; just click on the thumbnail to download. Lists organized  chronologically by publication date and numberalphabetically by concept in English, and by languages into which they have been translated, are available, as is a page of acknowledgments with the names of all authors, translators, and reviewers.

Key Concept-CMM

Penman, R. (2014). Coordinated management of meaning. Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 4. Available from:
https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/key-concept-cmm.pdf

The Center for Intercultural Dialogue is publishing a series of short briefs describing Key Concepts in intercultural Dialogue. The logic is that different people, working in different countries and disciplines, use different vocabulary to describe their interests, yet these terms overlap. Our goal is to provide some of the assumptions and history attached to each concept for those unfamiliar with it. As there are other concepts you would like to see included, send an email to the series editor, Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz. If there are concepts you would like to prepare, provide a brief explanation of why you think the concept is central to the study of intercultural dialogue, and why you are the obvious person to write up that concept.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Transformative Power of Dialogue

Review of:
Stephen W. Littlejohn & Sheila McNamee (Eds.). (2014). The coordinated management of meaning: A festschrift in honor of W. Barnett Pearce. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

by Robyn Penman

In 1980, Barnett Pearce and his colleague, Vern Cronen, published Communication, Action and Meaning, a seminal work introducing scholars to the theory of the coordinated management of meaning (CMM). Over the ensuing decades, CMM theory has continued to grow, reaching a wider and wider audience as the practical and theoretical relevance of Barnett’s work became increasingly acknowledged.

In recognition of Barnett’s outstanding scholarship, a conference, entitled the Transformative Power of Dialogue, was held in his honour in January 2011. The essays in this book collection emerged from that conference. I am one of the contributors to this volume and, as such, this review is more of a commendation than any conventional critical review.

The book opens with an essay written by Barnett shortly before his death, reflecting on what it could take for personal and social revolution to be brought about. As he put it, he has “bet my professional life” on following the risky, high stake path that this evolution “could be promoted by explicit attention to what we are making together in the forms of communication in which we engage” (p. 44).

Barnett’s bet has reaped its rewards, not the least of which is the extent to which he has inspired, encouraged and collaborated with an extraordinary range of scholars and practitioners, a sample of which is contained in the current volume. The very breadth, scholarship and wide-ranging practical import captured in the 15 essays bear witness to the rich offerings to be found in CMM and its broader communication perspective.

For those interested in intercultural dialogue, the central importance placed on dialogue in Barnett’s work, and in the essays in this volume, makes the book especially pertinent. One part of this volume is specifically devoted to the theme of dialogue. The topics include the role of systemic questioning (Victoria Chen), moral conflict and managing difference (Stephen Littlejohn), framing and conflict transformation (Linda Putnam), and generative community dialogue (Stanley Deetz).

Dialogue also emerges as a powerful theme throughout the other parts in the book. For example, I (Penman) consider the core relationship between dialogue and presence and what this means for understanding participation in mediated life. John Lannamann explores the key role of dialogue and its practice in cosmopolitan communication in making better social worlds. And Kim Pearce sums up the volume by talking about the pathway to personal and social evolution in terms of the “life of dialogue…that holds in tension, and compassion, the various stories, actions and people who loves us, or don’t, who are like us. . . . , or aren’t and who may challenge us to the core to remain civil and open” (p. 328).

For anyone interested in dialogue and its role in making better social worlds, this book should be a rewarding read.

CMM certificate

Beginning in the summer of 2013, Fitchburg State University in association with the CMM Institute, will offer a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Interdisciplinary Studies: Coordinated Management of Meaning through a combination of distance learning and real-time workshops and seminars. This is a 36 credit program for post-master’s level students. Students will complete 10 courses for a total of 30 credits and then complete a 6 credit thesis that would demonstrate the ability to apply CMM to real-world challenges. The faculty selected for this program are among the leading researchers in the field of CMM research and application. This certificate will be delivered through a combination of distance/online learning (synchronous and asynchronous) and on-campus workshops and seminars.

Career Opportunities
The Coordinated Management of Meaning CAGS program is a post-master’s academic certificate designed for candidates seeking to enhance their professional knowledge and skills. Graduates of this program may elect to go onto existing doctoral level programs that would support CMM as a research methodology.

“CMM has a rich past and has become one of the most important social science theories. More than an interpretive theory, it serves as a practical theory with applicability in many arenas. Students of this program will develop the capacity to help individuals and organizations understand and enhance their communication and action in ways that allow people to form better relationships and ultimately offer solutions to a number of human issues.”
–Dr. John Chetro-Szivos, Graduate Program Chair

HOW TO APPLY
Apply online or request a print application

WHAT NEXT?
Contact Admissions Office: (978)665-3144, admissions AT fitchburgstate.edu