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  • Mhm.

  • Mhm.

  • Over the years I've started to notice something interesting.

  • It turns out that several well established series in the social sciences, from psychology, sociology and anthropology to organizational studies political science and policy making well they share similar ways of thinking about basic human needs and social forces.

  • In essence, these approaches identify core aspects of what motivates us and these motivations are then reflected in the ways we go about organizational and social change and even in our political attitudes.

  • But perhaps more than anything, these core motivations underlie the way we act together and the way we think about acting together.

  • So for that reason I call them forms of coordination.

  • The first of these forms is based on authority.

  • It's essentially about doing what we're told to do and it's connected to ideas such as leadership, hierarchy, strategy, expertise.

  • The second is based on values and belonging, doing what we think we ought to do.

  • Mhm.

  • Given the kind of person we think we are and it's linked to ideas like solidarity, social responsibility, the collective, the tribe.

  • And then finally there's the form based on who we are, as unique individuals doing what we want to do for ourselves, connected to ideas like autonomy, freedom, entrepreneurship, ambition, creativity.

  • Now, many theories, for example, self determination theory from psychology or the competing values framework from organizational studies or the idea of public value in policy making well, they broadly recognized the need to balance and channel these different motivations and the views and methods of change that flow from them.

  • But there are two things which tend to often to be left out first that achieving and sustaining balance between those motivations and the forms of change that come with them.

  • It's inherently difficult.

  • This is partly because each of the forms of coordination has aspects which are compatible with the other forms but also less benign expressions which are not so individualism, for example, can be about autonomy.

  • Self expression, creativity, but it could also be about selfishness.

  • Atom is um mindless competition and difficulty also arises because the forms often compete as accounts of why we have social problems and how we have to solve those problems.

  • Indeed each form gained some of its legitimacy from its critique of the others.

  • So, for example, the advocates of value based collectivist solutions will often bolster their case by questioning hierarchical control or the irresponsibility of individualism.

  • And finally, even when societies or organizations do achieve some kind of balance of ways of acting and thinking well, the problem is we live in a changing world and change is likely to upset that balance.

  • There's also something else that often gets messed out and that's the importance of 1/4 rather different perspective fatalism fatalism is an inherent part of the human condition, probably linked to our awareness of our own mortality, but it's also often simply the most accurate assessment of how likely positive changes to occur in any given social context.

  • Now, given how often versions of this framework, combining ideas of authority, of values and belonging and of individual aspiration, given how often this framework emerges from conceptual and empirical inquiry across a range of disciplines?

  • Well, there's a big question, why is it not more widely accepted, understood and applied?

  • I think one answer is that social science disciplines tend to offer very different accounts of human nature and of society reflecting their traditions and ideological predispositions.

  • Sociologists are generally more left wing than economists.

  • Social psychologists focus on individual motivation, anthropologists think the group is what matters.

  • And these different academic world views may also be a reason why the natural sciences, which agree about much more, have been able to advance and win so much more public trust than the social sciences.

  • Now, what I call coordination theory and the series are similar to it.

  • Well, they don't offer a slam dunk way of reaching an agreed diagnosis about social or organizational problems.

  • They don't provide a single prescription about how to achieve progress, but what they do offer, I think is a it's a kind of shared base camp for social scientists to develop richer accounts of the social worlds.

  • We all live in bringing together the insights offered by different disciplines in a way that makes them more accessible and more useful to a much wider public.

  • Let's face it, we can't afford not to bring the best understanding of who we are as humans, to the increasingly complex challenges facing pretty much every community, organization and nation in the world today.

  • If social science, with its inherent commitment to human welfare, is not to be entirely sidelined by the juggernaut of Science and technology, well, its proponents need to start emphasizing what they do agree about more often than what they don't.

  • After all, if we could agree a bit more about what makes people and what makes society is tick, we might be more able to build a bridge to the future.


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B1 social organizational framework coordination balance belonging

RSA Minimate: A framework for change | Matthew Taylor

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/05/24
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