Scott Bristol's 'Values at Hand'.

Field of Meaning

Summary. The concept and contents of the Field of Meaning are fundamental to the Life Journey Mapmethodology for effecting meaningful change. Meaning as expressed in value words predicts motivation and cooperation. An individual's or group's potential for change can be measured by the set of values they are most likely to activate in speech and behavior, their Field of Meaning.

Meaning as 'Fulfillment' and 'Understanding'

The word 'meaning' includes different definitions that relate directly to values:  

The dynamics of ‘meaning’ has immediate relevancy in all relationships-work, family, and friends. It addresses both the individual’s motivation to act (fulfillment) and the efficacy of their action (cooperation). 

"The core or what has been called motivation is to value something. If we values something we will go after it. So we do not need a concept of motives and motivation but what we need is a clear concept of values (Jaques & Clement, 1991, p.72).

Included in 'meaning' is an affective or feeling aspect. Consequently people experience 'meaningful values' from four different perspectives, all of which influence our orientation towards action. Individual's rank values highly because they are experienced as:

Cooperation and problem solving is a social activity that demands a common orientation toward the phenomena one is addressing. Values when expressed verbally or in writing, create an expectation that guides, impels, and legitimizes a range of behaviors. The use of similar value words creates a common orientation that subsequently guides the nature of the problem solving. 

We also know that values directly relate to ‘meaning’ in the following ways: 

  1. Research in values has shown direct correlation between increased understanding and cooperation when there is increased value consensus and alignment among members of the same group and between members of different groups. (Rokeach,1979). 
  2. Research shows that individual’s value 0rientation (both fulfillment and understanding) will be different according to different roles and responsibilities within a given social structure. (Rokeach,1979; Hofstede,2001)
  3. The need to achieve meaning and fulfillment by practicing the values one holds most dear has been shown to be a fundamental motivator of human behavior. (Frankl, 1959; Tomkins,1991)
  4. Knowledge, know-how, the ability to act with efficacy within a given culture, is dependent on a tacit or unconscious understanding of the values (behavioral rules) on which the culture is built. (Nonaka & Takeuchi,1995; Hofstede,2001)

Field of Meaning

Within a large domain of values exist a smaller set of values-a Field of Meaning, that we regularly activate and access in our day-to-day activities. The importance and significance we experience when practicing these values makes for a range of meaningful behaviors that we seek to repeat.

'Field of Meaning' as measurement construct allows us to identify a specific set values and behaviors individuals are most likely to manifest in spontaneous speech and behavior.  

Individual Field of Meaning.  The Life Journey Map® value ranking process results in an individual's Filed of Meaning being defined by:

Group Field of Meaning. The Life Journey Map® value ranking process results in an group's Filed of Meaning being defined as:

Share Meaning Score is a measure of the individual's values alignment to other group members and predicts:

Potential for Change

There are two primary strategies for change based on use of the individual's or group's Field of Meaning Map. The Field of Meaning Map displays two different sets of values (individual or group): 

  1. Field of Meaning values includes top 34 priority ranked values, and
  2. Neutral Field values which include areas of conscious disinterest and unconscious mastery.

1st change strategy involves re-prioritizing the individual's or group's Field of Meaning values. This has the highest likelihood of success. The Field of Meaning values represent:

2nd change strategy involves re-prioritizing the individual's or group's Neutral Field values. This has low likelihood of success. The Neutral Field values represent:

Copyright 2002-2005 by Scott Bristol