[ 9. Mythmaking Systems
SUMMARY of TD9: Mythmaking has three approaches: Owens open spaces; McWhinney's mythic;  and Boje, Fedor & Rowland's mythmaking cycles
Similarities to other TD methods:
  • Ô  14.Postmodern Theatrics
  • J  11. Restorying
  • %  13. Festival and 
  • ¬  12. Transorganization

Dissimilar to other TD Methods:

  • ?  7. Reengineering
  • g 10. Stakeholder Models
  • C  5. Action Research
  • I  16. Critical Theory


The idea is to analyze metaphors and icons that story and center collective dynamics. Several consultants use mythmaking and storytelling as a tool for changing large systems and organizations.  Most widely know is Harrison Owens.


Some Background on Mythmaking

Meyer and Rowan (1977) were among the first to argue that interorganizational relations (and networks) transfer institutional myths and rituals between complex organizations through imitation.  See "Institutional organizations: Formal structure as myth and ceremony." American Journal of Sociology. 83: 929-984. 

Harrison Owens

  1. Mythic Transformation an interview with Harrison Owen, by Leslie Ehle - Owen is one of the initial instigators of the Organizational Transformation movement. He likes the Peters Search for Excellence focus on stories and transformation. Mythology becomes the mechanism through which we can map, track, or image [organizational] journey (press here). For A detailed background of Open Space Conference approach by Doug Reeler (press here). Short consultant's story by Anne Stadler (press here) and a one page history (press here). Opening Space for Emerging Order by Harrison Owen (press here). To register for an Open Space Conference (press here).

Boje, Fedor & Rowland



Boje, D.M., Fedor, D.B., and Rowland, K.M. "Myth Making: A Qualitative Step in OD Interventions," Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 18, 1, pp. 17-28, 1982.

  1. Myth, Symbols and Folklore: Expanding the Analysis of Organizations, Conference with 40 presenters and 200 attendees, Santa Monica, California, March 10,12, 1983. Conference hosted by Mike Jones , Bruce Giuliano, and Boje.
  2. ICEND Model - Boje & Jones -Table 11: ICEND - Interactive, Communicative, Experiential, and Network Development (press here).


Will McWhinney

Will McWhinney has been working with the Mythic since I knew him at UCLA in the 1970s.  

Press to return to TD Game Board or dfor a TD narrative.

Picture Click Dragon to Close Window