In the ever-evolving world of business, strategic decision-making and change management play pivotal roles in the success of organizations. However, many strategy interventions fall short due to a lack of deep understanding and insight into the organizational psyche. Recognizing the importance of delving beyond the visible and concrete aspects of an organization, business phenomenology studies have emerged as a valuable tool. Drawing inspiration from philosophical foundations laid by pioneers like Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Max Scheler, this branch of inquiry explores consciousness, thought, and experience to unravel the subjective paradigms that underpin organizational dynamics. In this article, we will explore the significance of business phenomenology studies, their potential benefits for clients, and how this service can be a valuable asset during designing a new business strategy, mergers, or part of the due diligence process in acquisitions.

Peter Drucker's famous statement, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast," encapsulates the essence of business phenomenology studies. It highlights the inherent limitations of solely focusing on the outer, visible aspects of an organization while neglecting the subjective and intangible dimensions that shape its culture and collective mindset. The success of change management hinges on a holistic approach that takes into account both the outer and inner workings of an organization. By examining the subjective as well as objective content, the underlying causes of outer symptoms, a phenomenology study aims to unearth and address the underground elements that often sabotage strategic initiatives. A Phenomenology study serves as an organizational 360.

The Threefold Process:

A business phenomenology study entails a threefold process: identification, diffusion, and alignment. This systematic approach is designed to reveal, address, and integrate the overt and covert aspects in an organization.


The first step in the process involves identifying the underlying issues and emotional content that permeate the organization. By employing various research methods such as interviews, surveys, and observations, the study aims to uncover the subjective themes and narratives that influence employee behavior, decision-making processes, and overall organizational culture. This phase provides a comprehensive understanding of the hidden dynamics and concerns within the workforce.


Once identified, the next stage involves diffusing the underlying resistance and emotional content that may hinder progress. This process encompasses open dialogue, empathetic communication, and fostering a safe environment for individuals to express their thoughts and concerns. By creating a platform for open expression, the study facilitates the release of pent-up emotions, enabling employees to engage in a constructive and collaborative manner.


The final step revolves around neutralizing the identified issues, followed by reframing and aligning them with the organization's strategic goals. This process involves leveraging the insights gained from the phenomenology study to develop strategies that resonate with the subjective paradigms and aspirations of the workforce. By aligning the inner dynamics with the covert strategy, organizations can achieve a more cohesive and effective implementation of their strategic initiatives.

During the due diligence process of acquisitions and mergers, understanding the true essence of an organization becomes paramount. Phenomenology studies can be a crucial component of this process, shedding light on the subjective dimensions that are often overlooked. By employing this approach, potential buyers can gain valuable insights into the cultural compatibility, collective values, and hidden challenges of the target organization. This knowledge empowers decision-makers to make informed choices, mitigating the risks associated with misalignment and cultural clashes.

Business phenomenology studies offer a transformative approach to organizational understanding before the change management process takes place. By recognizing and addressing the inner dynamics alongside the visible aspects, organizations can foster a culture of transparency, collaboration, and adaptability to embark on successful transformations.