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Article
Publication date: 12 December 2022

Donald Nordberg

This article explicates the notion of using a “theoretical lens” to interpret research data, which has grown increasingly common in recent decades, often without a second…

Abstract

Purpose

This article explicates the notion of using a “theoretical lens” to interpret research data, which has grown increasingly common in recent decades, often without a second thought about the implications of use of a mere metaphor in the pursuit of truth. Poets may not question that metaphors reveal truths, but should social scientists accept that?

Design/methodology/approach

It looks first at what theory means, then – and in greater detail – what the metaphor of a lens entails.

Findings

Drawing on the base analogy in optics, it identifies four mechanisms through which theory might act as a lens – adjustment, correction, distortion and augmentation-suppression, with examples based on theories of business strategy and organisation studies.

Research limitations/implications

These four mechanisms involve two different ways of seeing – better and differently. With adjustment and correction see better what is, or perhaps what was. With distortion and especially augmentation-suppression, we see differently, which helps us imagine what might be, or what we might have overlooked. They help us escape narrow silos of thinking. Researchers and students alike need to be aware of all four lenses of theory and be ready to experiment.

Originality/value

It argues that if some theories try to help us see better, others push us to see differently, with implications for the practice and teaching of research methods.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 July 2019

Yulia I. Dubova

The purpose of the work is to study the process of development of “conflict-free” socio-economic system from the positions of the theory of conflicts and the theory of systems.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the work is to study the process of development of “conflict-free” socio-economic system from the positions of the theory of conflicts and the theory of systems.

Methodology

The object of the research is development of systems according to the optimistic scenario from the positions of the theory of systems and development of “conflict-free” socio-economic system from the positions of the theory of conflicts. The methods include comparative analysis, dynamic modeling of systems, and formalization. The authors compare treatment of phenomena and processes that emerge during development of system from the positions of the theory of systems and the theory of conflicts and compare the model of development of “conflict-free” socio-economic system from the positions of the theory of conflicts and the theory of systems.

Conclusions

As a result of the research, due to founding on the theory of systems, the theory of economic conflicts receives meta-scientific conceptual and methodological substantiation, which ensures its advantages as compared to the existing theory of economic cycles and the existing theory of economic crises: complex consideration of economic and social effects of conflict, correct description of phases of conflict, and more precise classification of causes of conflicts.

Originality/value

Due to these advantages, the theory of economic conflicts may help to describe, model, and forecast the processes of development of modern socio-economic systems, as well as to classify them via differentiating “conflict” and “non-conflict” systems.

Book part
Publication date: 18 November 2015

Amanda Earley

This paper reconsiders the role of critical theory within the field of consumer culture theory.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper reconsiders the role of critical theory within the field of consumer culture theory.

Methodology/approach

The paper is documentary evidence of a roundtable held at the 10th annual Consumer Culture Theory conference on the subject. The roundtable uses discussion and conceptual methods.

Findings

The author begins with a brief introduction to the use of critical theory in the academy and in CCT more specifically. In the course of the roundtable, it was discovered that the reason we do not talk about critical theory more often may be attributable to its success, rather than failure – indeed, it has inspired so many new academic traditions, that we rarely pause to think of the various critical traditions in one place. Building on this foundation, participants were asked to discuss what critical theory means to them; what theorists they have used; what engagement they have had with critical theory traditions in CCT; and what their vision for critical theory influenced consumer research would be. Participation came from both planned and emergent participants. The final conclusion was the felicitous discovery that critical traditions are alive and well in consumer culture theory, and that there are many pathways to pursue critical consumer research in the future.

Originality/value

The roundtable session and paper are a direct response to the conference theme, which asked conference attendees to reflect on the history of consumer research, and specifically the role of critical theory within it. Moreover, the paper builds upon important debates about the philosophy of science and the role of critical theory within consumer research.

Book part
Publication date: 7 August 2013

Patricia Hill Collins

This essay critically assesses Connell’s Southern Theory. Operating from the premise that knowledge is a “project” embedded in power relations, the essay suggests that…

Abstract

This essay critically assesses Connell’s Southern Theory. Operating from the premise that knowledge is a “project” embedded in power relations, the essay suggests that while the scope of ideas surveyed in Southern Theory is an important accomplishment, two main dilemmas can be found. The first is that Southern Theory inadvertently puts “Northern theory” at the center. The second is that the southern theorists examined tend to be educated elites from the Global South, thereby overlooking other actors in the Global South and their ways of doing theory. Struggling to change, not just the ideas, but also the ownership, vested interests and institutional actors of social theory as knowledge project might create space for much needed dialogues across differences in power.

Details

Decentering Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-727-6

Book part
Publication date: 4 April 2017

Tarak Barkawi and George Lawson

This article introduces the main themes that animate this special issue: the necessary entanglement of theory and history, the cortical relationship between theory and…

Abstract

This article introduces the main themes that animate this special issue: the necessary entanglement of theory and history, the cortical relationship between theory and practice, and the transboundary (i.e., international) relations that help to constitute systems of both thought and practice. We integrate the contributions to the special issue within these overarching themes and identify their main contributions. We make three core arguments: first, all theory is situated knowledge, derived in and through historical context; second, theory-practice is a single field in which theory arises out of and acts upon historical experience; and third, both social and political theory have international origins, arising from transboundary encounters.

Details

International Origins of Social and Political Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-267-1

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 July 2019

Aleksei V. Bogoviz, Tatiana V. Skryl, Larisa A. Kapustyan, Ksenia V. Ekimova and Julia V. Ragulina

The purpose of the chapter is to consider the methodology of studying socio-economic systems through the prism of the theory of cycles and to analyze applicability of this…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the chapter is to consider the methodology of studying socio-economic systems through the prism of the theory of cycles and to analyze applicability of this methodology to studying economic.

Methodology

Based on the dynamic model of development of socio-economic system through the prism of the theory of cycles, the authors analyze dynamics of development of Russia’s socio-economic system through the prism of the theory of cycles in 2000–2022.

Conclusions

Drawbacks of the existing theory of cycles are determined. First, the models of economic cycles are too idealized and are alien to the current economic reality. These models do not correctly describe cyclic fluctuations of modern socio-economic systems – which is shown by the example of Russia. Second, application of the methodology of the theory of cycles in practice (by the example of Russia) leads to contradictory results. Each indicator of economic growth, including investments into economy, inflation, unemployment level, and balance of federal budget, has its own cyclic fluctuations, which could differ from fluctuations of GDP in constant prices. Third, the system of factors of cyclic fluctuations of socio-economic systems includes primarily economic (not social) factors. Due to this, the theory of cycles takes into account only objective reasons of crises of socio-economic systems.

Originality/value

It is determined that domination of subjective reasons in emergence of economic conflicts makes application of the theory of cycles not applicable to full-scale study of economic conflicts – application of this concept is expedient only as to economic crises that are one of a lot of manifestations of economic conflicts. It is probably that neglecting subjective (social) factors leads to the above contradictions of the theory of cycles and difference between its theoretical models and empirical data. Based on this conclusion, it is substantiated that methodology of studying socio-economic system through the prism of the theory of cycles is not applicable to economic conflicts; it is determined that development of the concept of economic conflicts can specify and improve the methodology of the theory of cycles.

Book part
Publication date: 17 June 2020

Kelsey Skic

Similar to joining comparative education and international education, bridging theory to practice is a hallmark of the field of comparative and international education…

Abstract

Similar to joining comparative education and international education, bridging theory to practice is a hallmark of the field of comparative and international education (CIE). Despite the commonality of citing “theory to practice,” a disconnect exists between comparativists who develop theories and practitioners who supposedly implement them. This article questions the use and meaning of this phrase. Specific questions are posed to explore how “theory to practice” is referenced in CIE publications: What does “theory to practice” mean? Who are theorists? Who are practitioners? Do practitioners know they are practitioners? How do practitioners apply theory? Perspectives from comparativists and practitioners are supplied in response to these guiding questions. These opposing perspectives demonstrate the continued disconnect between and misunderstanding of “theory to practice.” Further research is requested to better understand how these questions are currently represented in the field and how the field should evolve to better reflect theory and practice in the future.

Details

Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2019
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-724-4

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 December 2022

Geoffrey Wake

This article aims to explore, by drawing on, and coordinating and combining Cultural Historical Activity Theory and Community of Practice theoretical perspectives, what we…

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to explore, by drawing on, and coordinating and combining Cultural Historical Activity Theory and Community of Practice theoretical perspectives, what we might learn about how to design for Lesson Study that best supports both collective and individual learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The article primarily makes a theoretical contribution. It does, however, draw on, and is informed by, the design of a large-scale study that sought to improve teaching and learning in mathematics with the particular aim of improving grades of post-16 learners in national examinations in England. Lesson Study was central to the designed intervention and such design is explored from the two theoretical perspectives.

Findings

Theoretical analysis suggests how the careful design of Lesson Study can facilitate both individual and collective learning in terms of the theories networked here. In particular, it is suggested that supporting collective learning requires careful attention to how “disturbances” in activity systems need to be designed for rather than being left to chance and how architectures that can support individual learning in terms of identity development should pay attention to supporting emerging practices as well as defining what is non-negotiable.

Originality/value

The article takes a novel approach by coordinating and combining two different, and well established, theoretical approaches, which, significantly, are used quite widely in social science research. Together they provide a rich view of learning at both individual and collective levels and suggest ways in which we might better support design for Lesson Study.

Details

International Journal for Lesson & Learning Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-8253

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 November 2022

Sifeng Liu, Yong Tao, Naiming Xie, Liangyan Tao and Mingli Hu

The purpose of this paper is to summarize the advances in grey system theory research and various application achievements in science and engineering. At the same time, it…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to summarize the advances in grey system theory research and various application achievements in science and engineering. At the same time, it commemorates the 40th anniversary of the birth of grey system theory and the 10th anniversary of Grey Systems–Theory and Application.

Design/methodology/approach

Firstly, the innovations of theoretical research in grey system theory were summarized and some of the widely recognized new results are briefly described. By searching and combing the research results of grey system theory in China national knowledge infrastructure (CNKI) database and Web of Science by Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), this paper shows the rapid development trend of grey system theory in the past 40 years, and the successful applications of grey system theory in the fields of social sciences, natural sciences and engineering technologies.

Findings

More than 227 thousands literature were found by input 10 phrases such as grey system, grey number and sequence operator etc. in CNKI database. After entering the new century, the number of grey system papers included in CNKI database is increasing rapidly. Since 2008, more than 10 thousands papers have been included per year and more than 15 thousands papers have been included per year since 2014. Grey system method and model are widely used in physics, chemistry, biology and other fields of natural science, as well as transportation, electric power, machinery and other fields of engineering technology, and a large number of valuable results have been achieved.

Practical implications

It can be seen that the grey system theory plays an important role in promoting China’s scientific and technological progress, innovation and development and high-level talent training from tens of thousands of literatures marked with important national science and technology projects and a large number of grey system literatures published by China’s double first-class universities and double first-class discipline construction universities.

Originality/value

Both innovations of theoretical research and practical application play important role in the growth of new theory. The innovations of theoretical research provide methods and tools for practical application, which is conducive to improve application efficiency and broaden application fields. A large number of practical applications needs have become the source of theoretical innovation and the solid background for the birth of theoretical innovation achievements.

Details

Grey Systems: Theory and Application, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-9377

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 October 2022

Ferdinando Arzarello, Silvia Funghi, Carola Manolino, Alessandro Ramploud and Maria Giuseppina Bartolini Bussi

The aim of this paper is to describe teachers’ professional development in Lesson Study (LS) as processes situated in Semiosphere and generated by the unevenness due to…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to describe teachers’ professional development in Lesson Study (LS) as processes situated in Semiosphere and generated by the unevenness due to different cultural traditions. The authors characterise teachers’ professional development in two LS experiments as processes generating new knowledge to point out their products, i.e. new professional frame teachers produce after these experiments. The authors use Hybridization, a particular form of Networking of Theories (NWT).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collected video-registration of several Italian LS meetings. The authors analyse two LSs, where time emerged as a conflictual aspect. Through Hybridization components, the authors show how teachers make sense of LS and how teachers revise their professional frame.

Theoretical framework

In NWT different theories are deployed to study the same problem. To grasp the issue of unevenness in our LS, we use Hybridization of a Theory, a form of NWT characterised by a structural asymmetry. It is given when a construct c is introduced coherently, operatively and productively into a theory T, obtaining a hybridized theory T'.

Findings

Hybridization lens allows to describe potentialities and limits of LS as a tool for teachers’ development. The two analysed LS are different: in one of them Hybridization process produced a new theory T', whilst in the second one it was limited to the awareness of a gap between LS and initial teachers’ professional frame.

Practical implications

Identifying links between different Hybridization components is a helpful tool for teacher educators/researchers to foster the shift from one another. For instance, through this tool, teacher educators could keep track of what happens in successive LS and mirror the dialogue between teachers, moving towards group-shared metareflections. This initiates the advancement of a new theory T', where asymmetries are interpreted.

Originality/value

In this approach teachers are protagonists of the construction of a new professional frame. LS is a tool for teachers’ professional development, allowing teachers to question their own educational intentionalities. Hybridization components provide a tool to analyse such a process.

Details

International Journal for Lesson & Learning Studies, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-8253

Keywords

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