Notion of ‘presence’

Developments in the four companies appear to show that at least some employees (non-managers) develop a positive attitude towards changes when companies face new challenges. They appear to become more innovative than their managers. They prove able to develop strong positions in the new organisation.

Their ‘weapon’ (if one wishes to use the war metaphor—or otherwise, that from which they derive their ability to act effectively) consists of activities that may be fittingly named ‘increase in presence’. It consists of the development of collectives that self-organise into forms of interaction where differences in status (e.g. managers versus non-managers) become less important and where collective results are like those of research, i.e. stable against threats (external ones such as market challenges and internal ones such as the use of input–output models by managers). This type of development introduces a form of modelling (actor-presence modelling) that differs from the usual form of observational representation. It proved viable in that the responses of people engaged in fundamental re-organisations could be ordered such that the development is represented in a coherent sequence of steps or stages, as well as in a ‘hero-like’ story that recommends how one may support and strengthen the modelling. The notion of ‘presence’ proved essential in the process. It made it possible to name the development of certain individuals as an ‘increase in presence’.