Frame Decoupling for Organizational Change: Building Support Across Divergent Stakeholders Academic Article uri icon


  • Using qualitative research in one organization that undertook green building, we examine the processes that occur to foster support for a new initiative among people with diverse values and perceptions. We found that framing was particularly important, but framing contests occurred due to variation in how individuals cognitively connected different frames together. To overcome these contests, the organization used an interactive process we define as frame decoupling through which the frames were identified, separated, and prioritized before new language or frame was selected for the collective organizational goal. We develop the concept Frame Decoupling to describe how variations in cognitive diagnostic framing by stakeholders within an organization contribute to framing contests and how these contests can be resolved through interactive processes that effectively decouple various preexisting frames. Frame decoupling is an additional frame alignment strategy that social movements and organizations can use to motivate support and action for organizational goals.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Meyer, M. A., Cross, J. E., & Byrne, Z. S.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Meyer, Michelle Annette||Cross, Jennifer E||Byrne, Zinta S

publication date

  • June 2016