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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Boas Shamir

This paper reviews and compares six theoretical explanations of the effects of charismatic leaders on their followers. Of the six explanations two are based on…

Abstract

This paper reviews and compares six theoretical explanations of the effects of charismatic leaders on their followers. Of the six explanations two are based on psychoanalytic theory, two on attribution theory, one on a sociological theory of symbolic centers, and one on the social psychology of the self-concept. The review exposes differences among the explanations in their motivational assumptions, their predictions regarding leader behaviors and effects on followers, and the mediating mechanisms they posit between leader behaviors and effects on followers. The most critical differences are highlighted and suggested as foci of future research on charismatic leadership.

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Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-200-0

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Book part
Publication date: 2 December 2013

John Hamilton Bradford

To summarize and evaluate John Levi Marin’s recent book, The Explanation of Social Action (2011), the central thesis of which is that the actions of other people cannot be…

Abstract

Purpose

To summarize and evaluate John Levi Marin’s recent book, The Explanation of Social Action (2011), the central thesis of which is that the actions of other people cannot be explained without first understanding those actions from the point of view of the actors themselves. Martin thus endeavors to reorient social science toward concrete experience and away from purportedly useless abstractions.

Design/methodology/approach

This review chapter employs close scrutiny of and applies immanent critique to Martin’s argumentative claims, warrants, and the polemical style in which these arguments are presented.

Findings

This chapter arrives at the following conclusions: (1) Martin unnecessarily truncates the scope of sociological investigation; (2) he fails to define the key concepts within his argument, including “explanation,” “social action,” and “understanding,” among others; (3) he overemphasizes the external or “environmental” causes of action; (4) rather than inducing actions, the so-called “action-fields” induce experiences, and are therefore incapable of explaining actions; (5) Martin rejects counterfactual definitions of causality while defining his own notion of causality in terms of counterfactuals; (6) most of his critiques of other philosophical accounts of causality are really critiques of their potential misapplication; (7) the separation of experience and language (i.e., propositions about experience) in order to secure the validity of the former does not secure the validity of sociological inquiry, since experiences are invariably reported in language; and, finally, (8) Martin’s argument that people are neurologically incapable of providing accurate, retrospective accounts of the motivations behind their own actions is based on the kind of third-person social science he elsewhere repudiates; that he acknowledges the veracity of these studies demonstrates the potential utility of the “third-person” perspectives and the implausibility of any social science that abandons them.

Originality/value

To date Martin’s book has received much praise but little critical attention. This review chapter seeks to fill this lacuna in the literature in order to better elucidate Martin’s central arguments and the conclusions that can be reasonably inferred from the logical and empirical evidence presented.

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Social Theories of History and Histories of Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-219-6

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Book part
Publication date: 14 June 2018

D. Wade Hands

During the last decade or so, philosophers of science have shown increasing interest in scientific models and modeling. The primary impetus seems to have come from the…

Abstract

During the last decade or so, philosophers of science have shown increasing interest in scientific models and modeling. The primary impetus seems to have come from the philosophy of biology, but increasingly the philosophy of economics has been drawn into the discussion. This paper will focus on the particular subset of this literature that emphasizes the difference between a scientific model being explanatory and one that provides explanations of specific events. The main differences are in the structure of the models and the characteristics of the explanatory target. Traditionally, scientific explanations have been framed in terms of explaining particular events, but many scientific models have targets that are hypothetical patterns: “patterns of macroscopic behavior across systems that are heterogeneous at smaller scales” (Batterman & Rice, 2014, p. 349). The models with this characteristic are often highly idealized, and have complex and heterogeneous targets; such models are “central to a kind of modeling that is widely used in biology and economics” (Rohwer & Rice, 2013, p. 335). This paper has three main goals: (i) to discuss the literature on such models in the philosophy of biology, (ii) to show that certain economic phenomena possess the same degree of heterogeneity and complexity often encountered in biology (and thus, that hypothetical pattern explanations may be appropriate in certain areas of economics), and (iii) to demonstrate that Hayek’s arguments about “pattern predictions” and “explanations of the principle” are essentially arguments for the importance of this type of modeling in economics.

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Including a Symposium on Bruce Caldwell’s Beyond Positivism After 35 Years
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-126-7

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Empirical Nursing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-814-9

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Book part
Publication date: 2 December 2019

Frank Fitzpatrick

Abstract

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Understanding Intercultural Interaction: An Analysis of Key Concepts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-397-0

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Book part
Publication date: 31 October 2014

John Hamilton Bradford

To clarify and address questions that have arisen concerning John Levi Martin’s Explanation of Social Action (2011). I reply to some of Martin’s comments to my original…

Abstract

Purpose

To clarify and address questions that have arisen concerning John Levi Martin’s Explanation of Social Action (2011). I reply to some of Martin’s comments to my original review of his book (2012). In particular, this paper examines the distinction between first-person and third-person accounts of human action and whether third-person explanations of action are ever justified.

Findings

This paper concedes several of Martin’s points, but contra Martin, maintains that third-person accounts are sometimes valuable forms of explanation. This paper also concludes that the distinction between first-person and third-person explanations is relative to the actor.

Methodology/approach

A careful and close analysis of his reply is employed along with careful explication and exemplification of central concepts related to the study of human action.

Social implications

Martin has argued that third-person explanations of social action generate epistemological instability and hierarchical social relationships between researchers and those researched. This paper expresses doubts about the generalizability of these claims.

Originality/value of paper

To date, no extended discussion has been published pertaining to the social value of third-person explanations of social action.

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Mediations of Social Life in the 21st Century
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-222-7

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Book part
Publication date: 23 November 2012

Jari Väliverronen, Kari Koljonen and Pentti Raittila

Purpose – This study looks at the explanations given in Finnish media for the two school shootings that took place in the country in 2007 and 2008. It also investigates…

Abstract

Purpose – This study looks at the explanations given in Finnish media for the two school shootings that took place in the country in 2007 and 2008. It also investigates how Finnish journalists reflected on the explanations and the problems they posed to journalists’ professional values.

Design/methodology/approach – The study gives an overview of the most common explanations for the two incidents in the media through a textual analysis. A qualitative reading of interviews with journalists after the two school shootings sheds more light on journalists’ reflections on the explanations given. The findings are considered against the concept of professional values of journalism in Finland.

Findings – The media coverage of explanations varied markedly between the two school shootings. After the first rampage, explanations centered on the shooter and portrayed the incident as an “isolated case,” whereas after the second rampage journalists focused on societal problems and authorities’ wrongdoings in their explanations. The change can be attributed to the different nature of the two incidents, plus journalists’ increased need to pay attention to audience feedback in the rapidly changing media landscape. The altered ways of reporting also indicated a partial rethink of the professional values among journalists. With the school shootings, Finnish journalists’ traditionally strong support for deontological ethics as the cornerstone of disaster reporting declined slightly, with teleological ethics gaining prominence.

Originality – The study provides new insights into recent changes and developments of disaster reporting and journalists’ professional values in Finland.

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School Shootings: Mediatized Violence in a Global Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-919-6

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2020

Herman Aksom and Inna Tymchenko

This essay raises a concern about the trajectory that new institutionalism has been following during the last decades, namely an emphasis on heterogeneity, change and…

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Abstract

Purpose

This essay raises a concern about the trajectory that new institutionalism has been following during the last decades, namely an emphasis on heterogeneity, change and agentic behavior instead of isomorphism and conformist behavior. This is a crucial issue from the perspective of the philosophy and methodology of science since a theory that admits both change and stability as a norm has less scientific weight then a theory that predicts a prevalence of passivity and isomorphism over change and strategic behavior. The former provides explanations and predictions while the latter does not.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper offers an analysis of the nature, characteristics, functions and boundaries of institutional theories in the spirit of philosophy and methodology of science literature.

Findings

The power of the former institutional theory developed by Meyer, Rowan, DiMaggio and Powell lies in its generalization, explanation and prediction of observable and unobservable phenomena: as a typical organizational theory that puts forward directional predictions, it explains and predicts the tendency for organizations to become more similar to each other over time and express less strategic and interest-driven behavior, conforming to ever-increasing institutional pressures. A theory of isomorphism makes scientific predictions while its modern advancements do not. Drawing on Popper's idea of the limit of domains of explanation and limited domains of theories we present two propositions that may direct our attention towards the strength or weakness of institutional theories with regard to their explanations of organizational processes and behavior.

Practical implications

The paper draws implications for further theory building in institutional analysis by suggesting the nature of institutional explanations and the place of institutional change in the theoretical apparatus. Once institutional theory explains the tendency of the system towards equilibrium, there is no need to explain the origins and causes of radical change per se. Institutional isomorphism theory explains and predicts how even after radical changes organizational fields will move towards isomorphism, that is, institutional equilibrium. The task is, therefore, not to explain agency and change but to show that it is natural and inevitable processes that organizational field will return to isomorphic dynamics and move towards homogenization no matter how much radical change occurred in this field.

Originality/value

The paper discusses the practical problems with instrumental utility of institutional theories. In order to be useful any theory must clearly delineate its boundaries and offer explanations and predictions and it is only the former 1977/1983 institutional theory that satisfies these requirements while modern advancements merely offer ambiguous theoretical umbrellas that escape empirical tests. For researchers therefore it is important to recognize which theory can be applied in a given limited domain of research and which one has little or no value.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2021

Ronald E. Day

In this article the author would like to discuss information and the causal-temporal models as discussed in trauma theory and reports from trauma therapy. The article…

Abstract

Purpose

In this article the author would like to discuss information and the causal-temporal models as discussed in trauma theory and reports from trauma therapy. The article discusses two modes of temporality and the role of narrative explanations in informing the subject as to their past and present.

Design/methodology/approach

Conceptual analysis.

Findings

Information in trauma has different meanings, partly as a result of different senses of temporality that make up explanations of trauma in trauma theory. One important meaning is that of explanation itself as a cause or a therapeutic cure for trauma.

Research limitations/implications

The research proposes that trauma and trauma theory need to be understood in terms of the role of explanation, with explanation being understood as persuasion. This follows the historical genealogy of trauma theory from its origins in hypnosis and psychoanalysis.

Originality/value

The article examines the possibility of unconscious information and its effects in forming psychological subjectivity.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2006

Anna S. Mattila

To examine the role of explanations in influencing customer perceptions of service failures, this study investigated the impact of two types of explanations: retrospective…

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Abstract

Purpose

To examine the role of explanations in influencing customer perceptions of service failures, this study investigated the impact of two types of explanations: retrospective excuses and anticipatory excuses on customers' fairness perceptions and their tipping behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

A 3 (explanation: absent, anticipatory, retrospective) × 2 (service recovery effort: no tangible compensation or 20 percent off the total bill) between‐participant design was used to test the hypotheses. Simulated dining experiences were enacted and videotaped to represent the six conditions.

Findings

The findings of this study imply that customer‐contact employees might be able to influence customer impressions by offering a causal explanation for a service failure.

Research limitations/implications

Owing to the restaurant‐oriented focus of this study, these results may not be generalizable to other service industries. Second, our stimuli involved service encounters that were clearly inadequate in terms of interactional treatment. Third, due to the research method employed in this study the dyadic nature of the service encounter is minimized. Fourth, the student sample somewhat limits the generalizability of the results.

Practical implications

The results indicate that retrospective excuses might enhance customers' fairness perceptions more than anticipatory excuses. Yet, it is important to keep in mind that explanations for failures, even when combined with tangible compensation, are poor substitutes for inadequate interpersonal treatment.

Originality/value

The findings of this study add to the evidence that offering an explanation for a service failure can positively influence customer perceptions. Moreover, the paper introduces tipping as a surrogate of satisfaction to the service recovery literature.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 20 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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