23 June 2008

And Speaking About Placeholders...

This post is a placeholder post, for yet another placeholder word replacement that I need to come up with. What is a good word (that could be derived from any language) that means the strength of one's multi-faceted valence connection to an organization? As I'm writing this, and keeping with the science metaphor of valence theory, I'm thinking flux, or valence flux.

How does that work for you?

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9 comments:

Aaron said...

"the strength of one's multi-faceted valence connection to an organization"

Just to make sure I haven't mis-read:

Are you using "strength" as a noun or an adjective? Is one's multi-faceted valence connection a strength, and you wish to describe it? Or to you wish to describe the relative strength of that connection?

Assuming it's the latter, I'm not sure what you mean by it. The total strength of the individual's connections with the organization's different parts? Or simply the degree to which the individual is able to float between different units?

Mark said...

Sorry, Aaron, I guess my context isn't entirely clear from the minimal post. In Valence Theory, an organization is comprised of individuals (or combinations of individuals and organizations) connected to one another through (so far) five valence relationship connections: economic, identity, knowledge, socio-psychological, and ecological. These relationships may or may not be reciprocal, and vary in relative strengths. For example, a person my have a strong identity or socio-psychological tie to an organization, but a relatively weaker economic tie. The overall connection that a person experiences with a given organization would have a relative strength at a particular time. For myself at the moment, I feel strong valence connections among multiple, interacting valences as a member of OISE; those connections will weaken when I graduate and (hopefully) find a faculty position somewhere.

What I am seeking is a name for the relative strength of the combination of valence connections. In a simple example, one could say that a person will remain a member of said organization if the [whatever] is greater than some threshold - recognizing, of course, that actually quantifying such a thing is tantamount to impossible.

Aaron said...

Thanks for that!

If you wish to keep with the theme of valence bond theory, I would suggest that the term "covalent bond" would be useful when referring to the valence relationships as a whole. Each of the economic, identity, knowledge, socio-psychological and ecological connections would be components of that covalent bond; in chemistry, a covalent bond can be a single bond, a double bond, certain even a quintuple bond in some cases.

And thus, covalence would describe the entire relationship well, I would expect; and you could refer to the strength of the covalence, rather than the strength of any particular bond within the overall covalence.

Just a thought! You asked, after all. :)

D Holt said...

I think of tactual nature of the connection. The tangibility. How about: "tactile intensity of valence"? Especially since you can't touch it!

Mark said...

Tactile intensity is certainly getting close. It is consistent with the idea that a tactility statement should replace a vision statement for a valence organization. And, the idea of "who do we touch and how do we touch them" is an important aspect of Effect-ive Theory - querying the nature of the effects we create among those with whom we are in relation.

On the other hand, in physical terms, tactile intensity can be considered friction or pressure, neither of which works for me because of their undesirable connotations when applied to human systems.

Perhaps "warm fuzzies" conveys the idea, but somehow I don't think that would work in a thesis, nor in a theory that I hope will be taken seriously.

Leigh said...

I know you're going to mock me for saying this, but you need a new word for "valence".

You and I both know that someone is going to read your work, take the theory and put a way more accessible term to it and write a book.

(i know this was no help with your plight but I thought you might broaden out the question)

oh and ps. i like the usage of bond in this context (accurate and accessible)

Mark said...

Let me guess, Leigh - you flunked science in high school, right?

"Rebranding" Valence Theory isn't in the cards right now. For one thing, the name is pretty committed throughout my thesis work, registered with the university, and it would be an enormous hassle to change.

For another thing, I've "market tested" it with well over 1000 people, including workers, managers, executives, VCs, a large audience of marketing folks, and various and sundry others. In fact, one of my participant organizations is a relationship marketing agency. And I've got to tell you, Leigh, you're the lone voice that doesn't like the name.

As far as someone taking the idea and writing a book? I hope that lots and lots of people pick up the idea and write lots and lots of books. And, of course, adopt the consequences of the idea, because that will fundamentally change the entire way business is done. And that will make me very happy.

Leigh said...

Ok, I admit it, I dropped out of every science class but biology.

But! That is not my point. Emergence theory is a well understood concept that was well discussed in the context of marketing (and would probably test well in research heh ;) and still someone was able to write a book called Black Swan like the whole thing was some brand new concept that was going to change the world...

I know, i know, you don't care, it's a good thing if they write a book etc.

But before you write your book after you get through with the school thing...you know where to reach me. :)

Joanna Fletcher said...

How about sublime, subliminity, etc? Catalytic power? Just throwing out some sciency words that seem to imply both relationship and change and dependency.

Or how about skewing biological, and using words from ecology - symbiosis etc?

hth!