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1 – 10 of over 95000

Abstract

Details

Individualism, Holism and the Central Dilemma of Sociological Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-038-7

Abstract

Details

Individualism, Holism and the Central Dilemma of Sociological Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-038-7

Article
Publication date: 25 January 2013

Roberto Poli

The purpose of this paper is to explain why finding a theory for futures studies is such a demanding task. In particular, the paper paves the way towards a theoretical

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain why finding a theory for futures studies is such a demanding task. In particular, the paper paves the way towards a theoretical framework that goes beyond both positivism and anti‐positivism.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses a network of mutually interlinked concepts, including: levels of reality; parts and wholes; causation; the multiplicity of times; anticipation; the thick present; and latents.

Findings

The paper presents the two main obstructions blocking the way towards a theory for futures studies (namely, the belief that the opposition between positivists and anti‐positivists is exhaustive, and the need for better connections with other sciences such as biology, cognitive science and the social sciences.

Research limitations/implications

The paper discusses only one of the different threads in the elaboration of a theoretical basis for futures studies, namely the components closer to science.

Social implications

A proper theory for futures studies will contribute to making them more robust and efficient.

Originality/value

The general framework presented by the paper extends well beyond the somewhat restricted field of futures studies and includes social and psychological sciences, together with biology.

Article
Publication date: 4 January 2022

Sarah Dodds, Rebekah Russell–Bennett, Tom Chen, Anna-Sophie Oertzen, Luis Salvador-Carulla and Yu-Chen Hung

The healthcare sector is experiencing a major paradigm shift toward a people-centered approach. The key issue with transitioning to a people-centered approach is a lack of

Abstract

Purpose

The healthcare sector is experiencing a major paradigm shift toward a people-centered approach. The key issue with transitioning to a people-centered approach is a lack of understanding of the ever-increasing role of technology in blended human-technology healthcare interactions and the impacts on healthcare actors' well-being. The purpose of the paper is to identify the key mechanisms and influencing factors through which blended service realities affect engaged actors' well-being in a healthcare context.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper takes a human-centric perspective and a value co-creation lens and uses theory synthesis and adaptation to investigate blended human-technology service realities in healthcare services.

Findings

The authors conceptualize three blended human-technology service realities – human-dominant, balanced and technology-dominant – and identify two key mechanisms – shared control and emotional-social and cognitive complexity – and three influencing factors – meaningful human-technology experiences, agency and DART (dialogue, access, risk, transparency) – that affect the well-being outcome of engaged actors in these blended human-technology service realities.

Practical implications

Managerially, the framework provides a useful tool for the design and management of blended human-technology realities. The paper explains how healthcare services should pay attention to management and interventions of different services realities and their impact on engaged actors. Blended human-technology reality examples – telehealth, virtual reality (VR) and service robots in healthcare – are used to support and contextualize the study’s conceptual work. A future research agenda is provided.

Originality/value

This study contributes to service literature by developing a new conceptual framework that underpins the mechanisms and factors that influence the relationships between blended human-technology service realities and engaged actors' well-being.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Peter McGhee and Patricia Grant

This study aims to demonstrate how critical realism (CR) can be used in spirituality at work (SAW) research and to provide a practical example of CR in SAW research.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to demonstrate how critical realism (CR) can be used in spirituality at work (SAW) research and to provide a practical example of CR in SAW research.

Design/methodology/approach

CR is a philosophical meta-theory that allows the stratification of spirituality into different levels of reality, advocates for research methods matching the ontology of the level investigated and provides complementary methods of exploring this phenomenon’s causal power in social contexts. The authors present a study where CR was used to explain how and why SAW influences ethics in organisational contexts.

Findings

The results demonstrate that CR provides a useful approach to bridging the positivist-interpretivist difference in SAW research. Moreover, a CR approach helped explain the underlying conditions and causal mechanisms that power SAW to influence ethical decision-making and behaviour in the workplace.

Originality/value

While CR has been applied in the management literature, negligible SAW research has used this approach. That which exists is either conceptual or does not discuss methods of data analysis, or describe how critical realist concepts resulted in their findings. This paper addresses that lacuna. CR also provides value, as an alternative approach to SAW research, in that it allows the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods as complementary, not confrontational methods while providing a more integrated and deeper view of SAW and its effects.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 40 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Claudio Gnoli and Riccardo Ridi

The different senses of the term information in physical, biological and social interpretations, and the possibility of connections between them, are addressed. Special…

Abstract

Purpose

The different senses of the term information in physical, biological and social interpretations, and the possibility of connections between them, are addressed. Special attention is paid to Hofkirchner's Unified Theory of Information (UTI), proposing an integrated view in which the notion of information gets additional properties as one moves from the physical to the biological and the social realms. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

UTI is compared to other views of information, especially to two theories complementing several ideas of it: the theory of the hypertextual documental universe (“docuverse”) and the theory of integrative levels of reality. Two alternative applications of the complex of these three theories are discussed: a pragmatical, hermeneutic one, and a more ambitious realist, ontological one. The latter can be extended until considering information (“bit”) together with matter-energy (“it”) as a fundamental element in the world. Problems and opportunities with each view are discussed.

Findings

It is found that the common ground for all three theories is an evolutionary approach, paying attention to the phylogenetic connections between the different meanings of information.

Research limitations/implications

Other theories of information, like Leontiev's, are not discussed as not especially related to the focus of the approach.

Originality/value

The paper builds on previously unnoticed affinities between different families of information-related theories, showing how each of them can provide fruitful complements to the other ones in clarifying the nature of information.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 70 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 29 October 2014

Brian O’ Boyle and Terrence McDonough

This chapter undertakes one re-evaluation of Louis Althusser’s philosophical legacy for modern Marxism. While Althusser self-consciously undertook to defend the scientific…

Abstract

This chapter undertakes one re-evaluation of Louis Althusser’s philosophical legacy for modern Marxism. While Althusser self-consciously undertook to defend the scientific character of Marxism and so permanently establish it on a firm footing, many of his closest followers eventually exited the Marxian paradigm for a post-structuralism post-Marxism. We will argue that this development was rooted in Althusser’s initial procedure as he attempted to ground Marxism’s scientificity in an epistemological argument whose main referent was Marxism itself. This initiated a circularity which was ultimately to prove fatal to Althusser’s project. Less remarked upon, however, is a further legacy of the Althusserian oeuvre, the critical realist conception of Marxism initiated by Roy Bhaskar. Bhaskar found part of his inspiration in Althusser’s successful posing of the question of Marx’s science. On the one hand, Althusser’s work can legitimately be seen as a bridge into the post-modern challenge to Marxism. On the other hand, it can be seen as clearing the ground and establishing some of the foundation for critical realism’s successful recuperation of the scientific character of Marxism.

Details

Research in Political Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-007-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Marianne Wikgren

The philosophical position known as critical realism is briefly introduced, and some of its central features are used to connect the philosophy and the realist social…

7441

Abstract

Purpose

The philosophical position known as critical realism is briefly introduced, and some of its central features are used to connect the philosophy and the realist social theory to some current library and information science (LIS) models of information behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a literature‐based analysis of the critical realism concepts of a stratified social reality, the importance of contextualisation, and the relation between structure and agency. These features are discussed in relation to various models of information‐seeking behaviour, but also to the “interpretative” approach to information as meaning which can only be achieved through discourses in a human community.

Findings

The critical realism perspective could lay a fruitful foundation for an interdisciplinary research field like LIS, and its user studies in particular, concerned with many levels of information creation, seeking, use and processing. It is the task of the LIS researcher to explain the mechanisms that influence the information seeking, not only on an empirical level, by observing the user and his/her discourse community, but also by revealing possible underlying causes and relations.

Originality/value

An awareness of the fact that social and cultural structures exist independent of one's knowledge of them has implications on how many central problems in the LIS field are regarded and studied.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 61 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 12 July 2005

Diane Brook Napier

Most comparative education research has included investigation of dimensions of educational reform but not all research in the field has focused concertedly on reform in…

Abstract

Most comparative education research has included investigation of dimensions of educational reform but not all research in the field has focused concertedly on reform in relation to the realities in practice. In the latter half of the 20th century comparativists underscored the need to investigate implementation issues, not just reform policies, as had often been the case in earlier comparative research, since time had shown that political processes did not always equate with educational outcomes. Reforms can be thwarted altogether, significantly modified or mediated in practice, embraced with qualification, or differentially implemented across regions or levels within a given country. Reform implementation might produce intended and unintended change (for better or for worse); or no change at all might be the outcome; or change might occur ahead of reform. Some of the most fascinating findings in comparative research are dichotomous considerations of change such as policy versus practice, ideal versus real, de facto change versus de jure change, intended and unintended outcomes of reform, grass-roots (bottom–up) versus centralized (top–down) reforms, and de facto change legitimized-after-the-fact through reform or new policy.

Details

Global Trends in Educational Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-175-0

Article
Publication date: 10 June 2021

Joseph Phiri and Pinar Guven-Uslu

This paper aims to investigate funding and performance monitoring practices in Zambia’s health sector from an institutional and stratified ontology perspective. Such an…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate funding and performance monitoring practices in Zambia’s health sector from an institutional and stratified ontology perspective. Such an approach was deemed appropriate in view of pluralistic institutional environments characterising most African economies that are also considered to be highly stratified.

Design/methodology/approach

Blended with insights from stratified ontology, the paper draws on institutional pluralism as a theoretical lens to understand the institutional structures, mechanisms, events and experiences encountered by actors operating at different levels of Zambia’s health sector. The study adopted an interpretive approach that helped to investigate the multifaceted and subjective nature of social phenomena and practices being studied. Data were collected from both archival sources and interviews with key stakeholders operating within Zambia’s health sector.

Findings

The study’s findings indicate the high levels of stratification within Zambia’s health sector as evidenced by the three sector levels that possessed different characteristics in terms of actor responses to donor influence. This study equally demonstrates the capacity of agents operating under highly fragmented institutional environments to engage in enabling and constraining responses depending on the understanding of their empirical world.

Originality/value

Through blending insights from stratified ontology with institutional pluralism, the study contributes to the literature by demonstrating the enabling and constraining reflexive capacity of agents to exercise choices under highly fragmented institutional environments while responding to multiple demands and expectations to sustain the co-existence of diverse stakeholders. Accordingly, the study advances thinking on the application of institutional theory to critical accounting research in line with recent ontological and epistemological shifts in institutional theory.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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