a 4. SEAM - Socio Economic Approach to Management - by David M. Boje - posted August 17, 2000, update Sep 1 2002 

SUMMARY of TD4: SEAM - Socio Economic Approach to Management.
  • Founder Henri Savall
  • Location: ISEOR Institute, Lyon France
  • SEAM was developed in mid-1970s as a Economic interrelation with Sociotechnical Systems, but defining Social differently than Emery of Davis
Similarities to other TD methods:
  • l#2 Emery Model of Participative Democracy
  • C - 5. Participative Action Research

Dissimilar to other TD Methods.

  • ? Reengineering 


SEAM Navigation


SEAM Figures









Copyright 1999 ISEOR  
All rights reserved on each schemas and texts

Story - This summer (July, 2000) I went to Lyon, France and worked with the ISEOR program (Institut De Socio-Economie Des Enterpries Et Organizations Centre De Recherche).  The ISEOR research team is a partnership with the University of Lyon to do and teach large system change. My friends from Lille University had told me to expect something marvelous, but I had no idea.  

   I met with Henri Savall, the founder of ISEOR and SEAM (Socio Economic Approach to Management). According to Savall "The importation of ideas and methods of management from abroad has caused deep disappointments in the companies and, to a lesser extent, in certain theorists and researchers in sciences of management:  brutal performativity, excessively specialized organization Fayolism-Taylorism, or their opposites: psycho-naive other-worldliness, autonomies [that are] not concerted... "  

Savall's comment is consistent with what I observed in several French business colleges. I am not saying they are into Fayolism-Taylorism.  Rather, the books and theories of Americana (Mintzberg, Porter, Maslow, Senge, etc.) were being imported while the work going on in France, particularly the work of ISEOR and the French postmodernists was being ignored in the business colleges. Savall decided to go his own way in the 1970s and build something unique in OD scholarship. As an economist and organization theorist, he believed "effectiveness and profitability were [being] obtained with the detriment quality... Thus was born the socio-economic approach from the management of the companies and the organizations since 1973." I had to learn more.  

Marc Bonnet the Deputy Manager of the ISEOR Research Center took a good deal of time to explain the SEAM approach (See Figures 1 through 4). I also met Jacques Henri Coste, the postmodern professor of the team and Rickie Moore who came form the U.S. to work with ISEOR and is also a Professor and University of Lyon. I was so impressed by the SEAM approach to Large Scale Change and Development that I decided to stay the weekend and come back Monday to find out more. The more I found out, the more convinced I became that this is an undiscovered and revolutionary way to do OD and to train OD consultants. 

I am not the only one who is impressed. The Management Consulting Division of the Academy of Management International is holding its Conference in Lyon -FRANCE, March 30 and 31, 2001. 

And the  EGOS Conference is also headed to Lyon (July5th - 7th, 2001) and one of its Tracks, Mapping Action Research track (#11) will focus on ISEOR and SEAM.  I (Boje) will give a special presentation on SEAM showing its relationship to the TDgameboard. And so Henri, Jacques, Mark, Rickie and I met at the Toronto Academy of Management meetings (August, 2000) to figure out how to introduce both France (since business schools copy American models) and U.S. (since people know Emery, Davis, Weisbord, but not this very rare and special mutation of sociotechnical systems into Economic STS).  I decided to extend the TD Gameboard, write an interview with Henri for Journal of Management Inquiry and do a special issue for Journal of Organizational Change Management.  The focus is on this French Export (both to American, and then like the postmodern movement, re-imported into France in Americana journals). 

My purpose in this essay and Gameboard site is to give you an introduction to SEAM (Socio Economic Analysis of Management) and to position it in the TDgameboard. I am grateful to Professors Henri Savall, Marc Bonnett, Rickie Moore, and Jacques Henri Coste of the ISEOR for giving me the opportunity and permission to present a statement of SEAM and position it within the TDgameboard.  Keep in mind that this is my reading of SEAM. For the original go to France! -- David Boje.


SEAM - Socio Economic Approach to Management

What is SEAM? The Socio Economic Approach to Management.  This is the basic intervention model of Henri Savall and his team of associations (professors and doctoral students learning OD). SEAM was created by Henri Savall to link economics, accounting and a special Socio Technical Systems approach to large system change.  It is a long term commitment. No firm enters into a SEAM contract without an upfront three to five year commitment. SEAM bridges a qualitative interview and observation method with an accounting (hidden cost) and economic analysis of the firm's strategy.  SEAM is the major operation of ISEOR. SEAM has been "validated by thorough experimentation of long duration in 1000 companies since more than 26 years, in 30 countries on 4 continents. The data base grows with the passing of years by multiplying and diversifying cases of experimentation in new companies and organizations in new countries" (Translated from French).  SEAM is both micro and macro, connection internal and external strategic planning to the enactment of local working conditions as well as policy changes, including changing the rules of the game between workers, unions, management, suppliers, and communities. 

What is ISEOR? The ISEOR research center -Socio-Economic Institute of Firms and Organizations - is a research center in the field of management. It was created in 1976 by Henri Savall, a professor at the University of Lyon 2. The institute's vocation is to experiment new management methods allowing improvement in compatibility between economic and social objectives of companies. Interventions are carried out by the ISEOR research center in many companies around the world. They consist in active participation and experimentation within chosen organizations, resulting in a body of knowledge which can be used as a scientific data base. SEAM is the name given to the consulting approach. ISEOR is a collaboration with people of the university, large schools, companies and administration encouraging search for SEAM

What is the Purpose of SEAM? SEAM is about balancing on the one hand the smooth running of the organization and the social attributes, and on the other hand the economic performance in the short and long term and lasting competitiveness.

Figure 1: "Components of SEAM Model" PLEASE CLICK ON A LEAF

SEAM is Copyright 1999 ISEOR
All rights reserved on each schemas and texts

CLICK to Go to New Mexico State Small Business Consulting Web Site. In Figure 1, you see a four leaf clover model with the stem rooted in the "Socio-Economic Spectacle" performance context of the  company. At NMSU, we have adapted SEAM to work with small businesses and to develop Savall's innovative idea of the Metascript. Metascript is defined as the multiplicity of scripts (mostly unwritten ones) that define the field of actions, where strategies are plotted, characters get trained in their lines, and many feel con-scripted (imprisoned) in their character roles (Savall, 2001). We have combined Metascripting with the original SEAM Social Dysfunction areas of (Working Condition, Work Organization, 3 C's, Time, Training, & Strategic) by adding the SEPTET. SEPTET means 7 elements. SEPTET Metatheatre elements are Themes, Frames, Dialogs, Rhythms, Characters, Plots, and Spectacles. The combined effect of SEAM with SEPTET is as follows: 

1. WCT Working Condition Themes
2. WOF Work Organization Frames
3. 3C's D - Communication, Coordination, Cooperation Dialogs
4. TR - Time Rhythms 
5. TC - Training Cast of  Characters
6. SP - Strategic Plots

7. SOCIO-ECONOMIC Spectacles

The SEAM Social Performance Areas (TOP LEAF of Figure 1) are related to the Metatheatre aspects, using the SEPTET.  In the top leaf, there are six areas of social dysfunctions (Working Condition THEMES, Work Organization FRAMES, 3C's Communication-Coordination-Cooperation DIALOGS, Time RHYTHMS, Training CHARACTERS, & Strategic PLOTS), that when led astray result in six areas of hidden cost in the bottom leaf (Absenteeism, Injuries, Turnover,  Product quality, Waste problems, & Productivity problems). The left leaf is the structural elements of the firm (physical, technological, organizational, demographic and mental). These interact with the Social Performance (upper leaf) and the right leaf aggregates (individual, group, divisional, pressure group, and Transorganizational). The Socio-Economic Context of SEAM, as applied at New Mexico is the Spectacle

SEPTET  - We have developed a dramaturgical methodology we call 'SEPTET that means the seven elements for corporate theatre analysis.  The seven elements are: (1) Frames, (2) Themes, (3) Dialogs, (4) Characters, (5) Rhythms, (6) Plots, and (7) Spectacles (click on menu at top for definitions and examples).  Septet re-theorizes Aristotle’s (350 BCE) Poetics and Burke’s (1945) Pentad, integrating their more critical dramaturgy roots with more recent critical-postmodern turns (Best & Kellner, 1997, 2001) taken by Augusto Boal’s (1970) Theatre of the Oppressed and Guy Debord’s (1967) Society of the Spectacle.  We propose a postmodern reinvention of Aristotle’s (350 BCE) dramatic elements (of Poetics). We are not the first to redefine Aristotle’s terms.

Metatheatre - Metatheatre is defined by Boje and Rosile (2002a, b) as a multiplicity of theatres (formal, informal, off and on stage) with starring and supporting casts of characters who constitute the ‘concentrated’ and ‘diffuse’ spectacles (Debord, 1967) in theatrical performances experienced by employees, investors, customers and vendors. In short, Metatheatre is the multiple and contending theatres that constitute organizations in a network of simultaneous, stage performances in what Guy Debord (1967) calls the Society of the Spectacle. There is an online Metatheatre Intervention Manual by D. Boje and G. A. Rosile (2002a) which is being published by ISEOR.

How does Transorganizational Development apply to SEAM? Transorganizational Development has its own set of  WCT Working Condition ThemesWOF Work Organization Frames, 3C's D - Communication, Coordination, Cooperation Dialogs, TR - Time Rhythms, TC - Training Cast of  Characters, SP - Strategic Plots and SOCIO-ECONOMIC Spectacles. An upcoming issue of Journal of Organizational Change Management is edited by Henri Savall, and is focused on SEAM (due in print January 2003). In that issue is an article by Marc Bonnet and Vincent Crisalini, "Enhancing the efficiency of networks in an urban area through management consulting interventions. They worked with the government organizations in a city of 250,000 to apply SEAM to a Transorganizational context. They involved organizations from the public, private, education and labor section. After the diagnostic phase, the "Mirror Effect' results were fed back from over 100 interviews was fed back to participants. The data set consisted of 1,500 interviewee observations of social dysfunctions:

"There's a gang of youth who destroy everything..."

"The school doesn't care. They abandon the kids...."


Hidden codes of the dysfunctions of the network of city organizations was accumulated and documented in the field interviews.  By sustaining a dysfunctional metascript (lack of effective dialog and performance) among the network players, there were costs to the city in terms of theft, damage to building & equipment, medical rehab costs from alcoholism, and lost revenues. During the Mirror Effect meeting, the costs and lost revenues were presented to the participants, so they could evaluate the result and do collective problem solving. How could a more effective network take place between key players in the city?  The intervention was to have key players funded by the Municipal Authority work on an integration of their respective organizational processes. The players in the network identified the key processes of network interdependency that they needed to collectively coordinate. This involved not only logistic, but political and long term strategy decisions. 

The New Mexico Small Business Consulting Program is working with a similar problem in a County in our state. We are doing a SEAM analysis of the Social Performance areas of network players for the county. We are doing the field interviews, getting ready to bring participants together in a search conference where the Mirror Effect results will be presented.  One of the areas that New Mexico State University's Small Business Program has innovated, is the calculation of Hidden Costs into a Transorganizational Story Chart (See Root Cause and Story Chart).  

What is different about SEAM and the Sociotechnical Systems approaches of Emery, Davis, Weisbord, etc? First, the SEAM approach demonstrating the existence of hidden costs and performance that aren't assessed in the usual information systems of the companies such as budgets, accounting tools and indicators. Second, SEAM embeds large system change within an economic and strategic analysis of the firm. Third, SEAM uses qualitative data gathering techniques that including profiling the focal firm with 1,000 prior qualitative studies in thirty countries. Fourth, the approach is postmodern in ways described below

Figure Two "Socio Economic Performance"

Copyright 1999 ISEOR
All rights reserved on each schemas and texts

What are Hidden Costs?  (Bottom Leaf ) "The financial cost of these abnormal operations is not identified in the information systems of management, and, less still, in the countable plan, general or analytical" - Sevall. The untapped potential linked with hidden costs and performance is due to the informal power of all those who take part in the organization and who contribute more or less to the objectives of the many shapes and sizes of retributions received in exchange for their effort. Hidden costs are also linked with low quality management due to both a lack of executive role development and a lack of support in the face of a constantly changing world. (Press here for Visible vs. Hidden Cost Cartoon). For a more accounting orientation, see various types of Hidden Costs can be found at http://web.nmsu.edu/~dboje/TDgreenconcepts.html

What are the Process Issues? Consulting is about process. The process here is based upon carefully collecting and coding qualitative interviews into a text-retrieval computer system. This means that Ph.D. candidates are trained at ISEOR in the use of qualitative analysis as well as process consultation.  Ph.D. students spend a minimum of three years in the filed under supervised apprenticeship learning all the ins and outs of the model presented in Figure 1. They do semi-structured and unstructured interviews and observation studies as part of their training.  They learn an immense typology with 2,000 codes that extends four and five levels of sub-categories below what I am summarizing here. There is a long term commitment contract negotiated between ISEOR and clients that extends beyond three years. This is not a week-end workshop.  This is a careful and methodical diagnosis followed by measured experiments to effect changes in the relationship between Social and Economic. The firm goes through an extensive external and internal strategic planning and action planning initiative in the early phase.  Policies and the allocations of training resources as well as areas of participation are re-negotiated among the stakeholders of the firm.  There is the kind of careful process variance analysis one finds in TQM, but an broader strategic focus on the firm and its industry as well as marketing. In the implemented demonstration experiments clients learn how to explore and understand hidden cost accounting as well as more macro economic issues that are affected by the mismanagement of social performance. The process of diagnosis begins with employees, managers, and customers to explore areas of common and divergent ground.  As in survey research (and this is not that), there is a reporting back of finding. But these are findings which compare the narratives (ad coded utterances) of managers, employees, and customers, pointing out disparities. A key area is exploring taboo topics, what people are not saying or refuse to go on the record saying.  The approach is therefore both critical and confrontive. As in action research initiatives, there are cooperatively designed and executed interventions. The approach is much more inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary than most others on the TD Gameboard. The implementation changes accounting, strategy, HR, and quality practices. From a postmodern point of view, more hegemonic aspects of socialization and control that are increasing hidden costs as well as keeping them hidden get deconstructed as part of the approach. With a postmodernist on board the SEAM team the know the postmodern consulting language. but they translate this language into management terms, such as taboo topics, scape goat practices, and hidden costs. 

What is a Taboo Topic? Part of the consulting contract is that any statement will be written down by the consultants unless they are explicitly told not to record it.  No names are used in the qualitative and narrative reports that are rendered.  But, there is a time set aside for stakeholders to confront the 'taboo" areas people are refusing to go on record about. This makes it more and more OK to challenge the political status quo and get at the sub-layers of socialization.  

What are the Six areas of SEAM Social Performance? (Top Leaf of Four Leaf Clover)  There are the five listed in Figure Two (Work Organization was mistakenly omitted - we seek a new drawing) . The interaction of the structures and the behaviors within the company (See Figure One) creates six families of abnormal operations (figure Two). These six families constitute at the same time explanatory variables of operation and levers of action on the abnormal operations listed in the diagnosis of the company.  

  1. Working Conditions THEMES
  2. Communication, Coordination & Cooperation DIALOGS
  3. Work Organization (Bureaucratic, Complexity,  Chaos, & Postmodern) FRAMES
  4. Time RHYTHMS ( More accurate would be "time management" of cycle time, time use as in studies of how people spend their time, etc.).
  5. Training CHARACTERS (What are people not trained in, where is training be spent?). 
  6. Strategic PLOTS (What is firm's situation in its environment? What kinds of strategic change quests has the firm been caught up in?).

In the diagnostic phase, these six areas of social performance are explored using qualitative interviews and observations.  Socio-economic analyses are done to ascertain the hidden costs of sustaining current patterns of Social Performance. The diagnostic narratives generated in the field work are entered into a data base, and then ordered by the six main themes (and sometimes 5 layers of sub-theme categories). Narrative examples are presented from various stakeholder positions in the firm.  Frequencies and basic statistics are used to tabulate themes and sub-themes. 

What are Indicators of Hidden Costs? There are five that SEAM focuses upon. The assumption is that when Social Performance areas are out of whack, the company will experience hidden costs (some not so hidden) in each area. But the reporting system of managerial accounting most times does not track these costs of make them available for decision making. The lack of understanding of these costs leads to short-term perspective on the part of management. In this phase, the six Social Performance areas (in the qualitative report) are translated into demonstrations of accounting for costs. For example, where there is poor quality, the processes underlying that quality performance are analyzed. Audits of the Social Performance areas are conducted, and cost information is collected to show where poor quality is coming from (lack of training, poor time management, ineffective work design or organization design). Then for each accounting reports are generated to show to management, as well as to staff and workers, what it the impact of the Social on Hidden Costs. "'The hidden costs indicate the costs not located by the traditional information systems available to the company (budgets, general ledger or analytical, financial management reports...) in opposition to visible costs ... such as distributions of personnel or purchases of raw materials" (Translated from French). 

  1. Absenteeism
  2. Injuries
  3. Turnover
  4. Poor Quality
  5. Low Productivity
  6. Waste

As the hidden costs accumulate and the Social Performance system gets more out of whack, there are bottom line issues of a financial consideration. This gets us to the more strategic and policy levels of the firm (See Figure Four). In other words, to really do something significant about hidden costs it is necessary to change strategies, policies and the very rules of the game. 

There are Six Financial Consequences of problematic Social Performance:

  1. Over-wages (Extra wages)
  2. Time wasted
  3. Over consumption (waste)
  4. Non-production (time)
  5. Non-creation of potential gains (opportunity costs)
  6. Risks

Figure Three integrates these three micro and macro areas into one drawing. 


Figure Three: " Relationship between Social Performance, Hidden Cost and Financial Consequences. 

Copyright 1999 ISEOR
All rights reserved on each schemas and texts

For case example see http://www.iseor.com/presentation_en_anglais.htm 


How does SEAM work? Figures 1, 2, and 3 are a part of the Large System Change approach of SEAM.  They help with the diagnosis.  The results come in implementing processes of improvement, political and strategic decision changes, and a number of key management tools.  As the diagnosis is enacted, a number of demonstration experiments are negotiated between consultants and the stakeholders of the company.  The experiments are designed to track hidden costs while changing the Socio-Economic areas of the company.  This happens slowly by proving the relation between Social and Economic, then moving out in the three directions below. For example developing an internal and external planning tool, but also changing the rules of game and strategy in the political realm, while continue to develop project implementations that result in improvements.  The assumption is that you can not affect change with out tools and without dealing with the political dynamics that mire strategy. Over time there are changes in policy, more tools such as time sharing (which translates to time management), and evaluations of results. One thing I like about the SEAM approach is that the intervention program measures its performance costs and gains as it proceeds.  It is therefore unusual if not unique in this regard. 

Figure Four: "Three Dimensions of SEAM"

Copyright 1999 ISEOR
All rights reserved on each schemas and texts



Figure Five "MAGESE"

Figure Five is a star image that connects, strategy, information systems, marketing, operations, production, organization, compensation, human resources, and accounting. The assumption here is that since professors and consultants train in specialized and bounded disciplines, they lack an overall and integrated, interdisciplinary understanding of the firm and its environment (Refer also to Transdisciplinary movement in Europe).  The purpose of SEAM is to build precisely this integration over time. 

What is the advanced SEAM?

The six areas of social performance are not the only contributors to the hidden costs of economic performance. As we discussed briefly in the "taboo topics" section, there can be more pathologic concerns.


Figure Six - Psychoanalytic-Socio-Economic Analysis of Management

In my meeting with Henri Savall, Veronique Zardet, and Marc Bonnet at the August, 2001 Academy of Management meeting in Washington D.C. and the July, 2001 meetings of the EGOS conference in Lyon, France, I asked them to explain the connection of SEAM to psychoanalytic theory.  Their reply was the psychoanalytic approach to SEAM is focused on the archetypes revealed in the Metascript of the organization.  Metascript is explained in the next section on postmodern aspects of SEAM (point #4 below).  Organizations are addictive systems (See Boje & Rosile, 2001 Death, Desire and Motivation Theory).

What are the Postmodern Aspects of SEAM?   It is inter-disciplinary, more a rhizomatic understanding of the interplay of disciplines that have been kept separate.  For example, looking at hidden costs, the discipline of accounting is used to show that screwing up Social Performance messes up the bottom line.  See Green Accounting Gameboard for concepts and examples of relating accounting hidden cost analysis to environmental life cycle audits.  Specific types of Hidden Costs can be found at http://web.nmsu.edu/~dboje/TDgreenconcepts.html. And for postmodern accounting overview see http://web.nmsu.edu/~dboje/TDgreenlinks.html.  SEAM therefore moves from a functionalist operating corporation (or NGO) to a more socio-economic and I think ecocentric (as opposed to anthropocentric) understanding of the firm and its environment. And SEAM moves us to a more critical postmodern position. Accounting numbers in accounting charts and tables and in financial reports and audits create instead of reflect or mirror reality. Behind the illusion of the mirrored-representation is the politics of accounting and the social construction of the hyperreal. Lehman and Tinker (1996) argue that in order to democratize accounting and develop a more emancipatory and progressive accounting agenda it is necessary to reformulate "environmental accounting as part of its instrumental modus vivendi perpetuating the terrible slide into subjectivism and anthropocentricism where humanity is seen as capable of controlling and measuring nature" (p. 2) [see see http://web.nmsu.edu/~dboje/TDgreenlinks.html.].

A second postmodern area is the restorying of the relationship between Social and Economic conditions.  Instead of a trade off, the assumption inter-penetrating.  It is telling, for example that Savall and Bonnett were vehemently opposed to the reengineering craze of the 1990s. They pointed out in their careful measurement of Socio-Economic relationships under SEAM, that there were significant hidden costs to reengineering that were note being accounting for.  They did not get sucked into the reengineering fad; they remained skeptical of an intervention that was premised on destroying to Social capacity of the firm in order to reap what they saw as temporary and short-term gains.  

Third, in looking at What is Postmodern organization, there are several points to be made. 

The postmodern organization may be defined as that comprising a networked set of diverse, self-managed, self-controlled teams with poly-centers [many centers] of coordination that fold and unfold according to the requirements of the tasks. Likewise, these teams are organized in flat design, employees are highly empowered and involved in the job, information is fluid and continuous improvement is emphasized throughout (after Boje and Dennehy, 2000).

This is the type of flexible and de-centered working organization that can be implemented over team with SEAM.  "If, as many now argue, the structural defenses against task anxieties and the insulated cultures provided by the dependency hierarchies of more traditional organizations no longer serve in the current environment, the question must then be posed-what new defenses do we have available?" (Long, 1999). In SEAM, there is a relationship between to social anxieties of a problematic work organization and working condition that gets plaid out on hidden cost areas and ultimately strategic implementation. 

Fourth, I learned recently, that Henri Savall approaches the organizations as a theatrical "Metascript" one with multiple authors and directors.  Taking copious notes of the dialogue three days a week, the SEAM consultants try to record the metascript that is being enacted by the organizational members.  By comparing the metascript of the managers, staff, and workers, it is usually the case that people are not working from the same script, and that many script revisions are in progress.  A theatrics look at the social and psychoanalytic performance brings about postmodern associations with classical economics of the firm approaches (See Figure 6).

Metascripts is defined as the multiplicity of scripts, mostly unwritten ones, that constitute the micro and macro structure, behavior, social dysfunctions, and hidden costs/performance potential of complex organizations. Metascript is a multiplicity of scripts that define the field of actions, where strategies are plotted, rhythms find their time patters, characters get trained in their lines, and many feel con-scripted and imprisoned in their character roles and dialog; there are themes of working conditions for on and off stage performers, and some of the mindsets are incommensurate with other mindsets; a mess of directors, script editors, and characters learning and refusing their scripted lines compete for time on the center stage (Please See Boje & Rosile, 2002 - Metatheatre Intervention Manual). 

Firth, I am working on relating SEAM to Psychoanalytic theory, based on my interviews with Henri Savall and his associates in August, 2001. My own approach is to relate the psychoanalytic theory of Deleuze and Guattari to the Social Performance and Economic (hidden costs) in the SEAM analysis. This is a P-SEAM (psychoanalytic-SEAM). For more on Deleuze and Guattari (press here).

There are limits to the postmodern implementation in SEAM. For example, SEAM is not about fragmentation. A more postmodern organization would be a combination or collage of many types and forms (modern as well as postmodern), partly bureaucratic, partly chaotic, partly a quest to reform it all, and partly postmodern unknowability. The postmodern organization acts out fragmented and contrary scripts (script here is the story acted out in action). Yet, the value, I see in SEAM, is that with the historical, comparative and deep investment in qualitative data collection, it should be possible to track just such fragmented patterns of organizing. 

Finally, there is a postmodern linguistic aspect to SEAM that Professor Jacques Henri Coste, the postmodernist of the team speaks to.  That is, there are changes in the language games, in the signs and symbols that socially construct the relationship between social and economic.  SEAM is built on collecting and reshaping utterances.  Utterances are coded by the clients and consultants, and entered into a computerized text-retrieval program with some 2,000 codes. The first level of codes are as portrayed in Figures 1 to 4. But what you have to understand is that there are sub-categories for each of these down to five levels. The work of 30 years has gone into refining and evolving the coding schema to track the classes of information collected for qualitative analysis. 


What are the Transorganizational aspects of SEAM?  As I see it, SEAM is a long term collaboration between university (doctoral education and scholarship), corporate experimentation, and community. As the SEAM experiments get enacted relationships between the firm and its suppliers, customers, and communities become part of the intervention.  

Disclaimer. SEAM and other aspects of this presentation  are Copyright 1999 ISEOR All rights reserved on each schemas and texts. Please contact them directly.  - David Boje. 



Boje & Rosile, 2001 Death, Desire and Motivation Theory). Presentation to the Critical Management Studies Conference in Manchester, UK (July, 2001).

Boje & Rosile, 2002 Metatheatre Intervention Manual. To be published by ISEOR, France. 

Savall, Henri, Veronique Zardet & Marc Bonnet (2000) Releasing the Untapped Potential of Enterprises Through Socio-Economic Management. Publication of the International Labour Office.  Fax +44 20 7631 5500  ISBN 92-2-112089-9.

See Enron Web Site http://cbae.nmsu.edu/~dboje/enron/seam.htm 

Visit the New Mexico State University - Small Business Consulting Web Site http://cbae.nmsu.edu/~dboje/sbc