[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Fwd: [Методология и история психологии] Uploaded What theory is not.pdf



Hello --

The paper Mike posted is from the Administrative Science Quarterly, put out by the Cornell Grad School of Management, and seems to be written from the world of Organizational Behavior or OB, which is taught in business schools and in Human Resources programs.  OB theories are used mostly by management and management consultants to study and strengthen the organizations of business enterprises. These theories come out of psychology but don't draw from learning theory and Vygotsky, from what I can tell from my exposure to them. They are also closely connected in practice with human capital theory which comes out of economics.

The reason why this  matters to me is because OB consultants sometimes get hired by labor unions. They apply their theories about how organizations work to a different context. If the theory is strong, it ought to survive across another context, right? OB consultants do have a lot of things to say about strengthening organizations generally, but a labor union is not a business and ultimately, some of what they propose is often inappropriate. Worst case is that the organization gets re-shaped as a business. 

If the theory that shapes the consultant's plan is not clear and transparent,  the leadership will spend money and get committed to a  plan without actually understanding what they are implementing. The consultant's theoretical assumptions may even be viewed as the magic box of tools that are the capital of the consultant, complete with jargon and in some cases copyrighted materials). The membership DEFINITELY does not learn, critique, question, develop, use the theories. They are the object on which the theories get implemented. Long term, this is a waste of money. 

This is the context in which I  admire seeing the fluff and fizzle that passes for "theory" get blown away. I like to think that if some actions are going to be carried out on the basis of some theoretically-grounded proposal, the people on whom they are getting carried out should be in full possession of the theory. In my experience as a labor educator, this can be done. I''ll bet that it can also be done in K-12 classrooms. Certainly in post-secondary contexts. And if the theory can't be explained clearly, then someone has a clean-up job to do.

Helena Worthen
21 San Mateo Road
Berkeley, CA 94707
hworthen@illinois.edu

On Jun 16, 2014, at 4:46 PM, Lubomir Savov Popov wrote:

> Just to add: In the professions, theoretical training is not very strong because the focus is on hands-on thinking. The article is evidently written for researchers in the professions rather than the sciences. At least, this is my perception.
> 
> Lubomir
> 
> Lubomir Popov, PhD
> School of Family and Consumer Sciences
> American Culture Studies Affiliated Faculty
> Bowling Green State University
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Helena Worthen
> Sent: Monday, June 16, 2014 4:05 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fwd: [Методология и история психологии] Uploaded What theory is not.pdf
> 
> David --
> 
> I wouldn't be so severe as to say that you're being compulsively cynical, but I would say that your comments are a bit on the tough side.
> 
> This article (which is showing up on my subject line in Cyrillic) is one of those  code-breakers that may seem unnecessary to those for whom the information is obvious, but it essential for those who haven't run into anyone who could step aside for a moment and pass along the key secrets. It reminds me of a message sent out on XMCA about 20 years ago -- is that possible? -- by Chris Argyris about how to behave with ones colleagues on email. These are things that if no one says them out loud, they are expensive to learn through trial and error.
> 
> 
> Helena Worthen
> hworthen@illinois.edu
> helenaworthen@gmail.com
> 
> On Jun 15, 2014, at 1:31 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
> 
>> Mike:
>> 
>> This article struck me as theoretically naive. First of all, the whole 
>> idea of articles without theory is a little silly, particularly for 
>> anybody who has taken Chapter Two of Thinking and Speech and 
>> Vygotsky's critique of Piaget's atheoretism on board. Secondly, the 
>> idea that "why" questions and a focus on causality is a hallmark of 
>> theory essentially writes off the whole of Dilthey, descriptivism, 
>> structuralism and post-structuralism. You might not agree with this 
>> line of thought and body of work, but to deny it status as theory seems pointless.
>> 
>> I must admit, though, the whole genre of editors and reviewers who 
>> repackage as articles their complaints about having to review articles 
>> by professors who are desperate to publish is rather puzzling to me. 
>> There are plenty of other channels for this sort of thing, e.g. 
>> reviews, pub discussions, and even xmca. But perhaps they too  are desperate to publish.
>> Or am I being compulsively cynical?
>> 
>> David Kellogg
>> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On 15 June 2014 02:13, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> I recommend this paper on what theory is not. It touches on a number 
>>> of issues that we encounter a good deal in reviewing manuscripts sent to MCA.
>>> I am forwarding from
>>> Ilya Garber's discussion group with thanks to Ilya for posting.
>>> mike
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Ilya Garber posted in Методология и история психологии < 
>>> https://www.facebook.com/n/?groups%2F505367082848886%2F77643948574164
>>> 3%2F&aref=354957658&medium=email&mid=a067d84G3212ac93G1528395aG96Gba2
>>> 4&bcode=1.1402765399.AblhaHTp27u9ny_P&n_m=lchcmike%40gmail.com
>>>> 
>>> [image: Ilya Garber]
>>> <
>>> https://www.facebook.com/n/?profile.php&id=1202221848&aref=354957658&;
>>> medium=email&mid=a067d84G3212ac93G1528395aG96Gba24&bcode=1.1402765399
>>> .AblhaHTp27u9ny_P&n_m=lchcmike%40gmail.com
>>>> 
>>> Ilya
>>> Garber
>>> <
>>> https://www.facebook.com/n/?profile.php&id=1202221848&aref=354957658&;
>>> medium=email&mid=a067d84G3212ac93G1528395aG96Gba24&bcode=1.1402765399
>>> .AblhaHTp27u9ny_P&n_m=lchcmike%40gmail.com
>>>> 
>>> 10:02am
>>> Jun 14
>>> Практически в каждой журнальной статье по психологии есть 
>>> теоретический раздел. Два опытных и умных редактора объяснили, что не является теорией.
>>> Must read.
>>> What theory is not.pdf
>>> <
>>> https://www.facebook.com/download/682318241852537/What%20theory%20is%
>>> 20not.pdf
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> View Post on Facebook
>>> <
>>> https://www.facebook.com/n/?groups%2F505367082848886%2F77643948574164
>>> 3%2F&aref=354957658&medium=email&mid=a067d84G3212ac93G1528395aG96Gba2
>>> 4&bcode=1.1402765399.AblhaHTp27u9ny_P&n_m=lchcmike%40gmail.com
>>>> 
>>> · Edit Email Settings
>>> <
>>> https://www.facebook.com/n/?settings&tab=notifications&section=group_
>>> notification&aref=354957658&medium=email&mid=a067d84G3212ac93G1528395
>>> aG96Gba24&bcode=1.1402765399.AblhaHTp27u9ny_P&n_m=lchcmike%40gmail.co
>>> m
>>>> 
>>> · Reply to this email to add a comment.
>>> 
> 
> 
>