From the Field
Adapting question mapping as a methodology to help make sense of a community's collective wisdom and shared futures
Article first published online: 19 MAR 2009
© Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Nonprofit Management and Leadership
Volume 19, Issue 3, pages 367–385, Spring 2009
How to Cite
Gelles, E. and Ludeman, R. F. (2009), Adapting question mapping as a methodology to help make sense of a community's collective wisdom and shared futures. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 19: 367–385. doi: 10.1002/nml.224
- Issue published online: 19 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 19 MAR 2009
This article investigates question mapping as a methodology for making sense of the complex issues discussed at a West Coast nonprofit leadership summit in the economic downturn following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. A real-time organizational development tool was employed retrospectively to help frame the fundamental questions raised by the region's leaders about community needs and the sector's role in meeting them. Following a brief description of the summit, the methodology is presented. We then consider how this approach differs from other frameworks for encouraging and analyzing discourse and how it was adapted. The technique is both a heuristic device and a guide with potential for synthesizing community issues in real time or retrospectively. The categorization schema provides a framework for deliberative dialogue and action as well as many potential nonprofit research agendas for the coming years.