Engaging Employees in Interpreting Survey Results: Using PathMAP® as a Tool to Drive Understanding and Change




Owen, Keith O.
Northcutt, Norvell
Dietz, A. Steven

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Sage Open


A key change agent role is to help clients understand the systems to which they belong to improve performance. A major challenge is how to facilitate this understanding. Typically, the change agent collects the data and provides an interpretation about its significance for the client organization. This approach, however, often meets with resistance. What is needed is an approach that engages the author of the data in its interpretation and this article introduces just such an approach— PathMAP®. A case study is used to introduce PathMAP® and show how it can be used to engage system agents in a rigorous process of data interpretation leading to an increased understanding of the variables that influence system dynamics and of how to engage the system in change. This article will demonstrate how PathMAP® enables change agents to get an accurate picture of the current state of an organization by identifying the key issues facing the organization and their interrelationship, and using this knowledge to create meaningful action plans that make deep and intuitive sense to organization’s members.



data interpretation, employee involvement, organizational change, hermeneutics, change agent, qualitative design, Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies


Owen, K. O., Northcutt, N., & Dietz, A. S. (2015). Engaging employees in interpreting survey results: Using PathMAP® as a tool to drive understanding and change. SAGE Open, 5(1), pp. 1-17.


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© 2015 The Author(s).

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

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