20 Chapters
Medium 9781855756182

Managing self in role: using multiple methodologies to explore self construction and self governance

Simon Clarke Karnac Books ePub

Managing self in role: using multiple methodologies to explore self construction and self governance

Linda Watts

This chapter examines the psycho-social research methods used for a research inquiry into a “corporate” role in a local authority in the UK, in the period 2000-2002. This corporate role involved the design and dissemination of “modernizing” policies and carrying out a range of projects. It involved joint working with managers who had a number of professional and technical roles throughout the organization. The research inquiry was carried out by myself as the practitioner who fulfilled the corporate role: the inquiry was, therefore, an in-depth exploration of “self in role”. My research inquiry examined macro political and organizational influences on cross-organizational relations in a local authority, a highly segmented, bureaucratic organization. My “uncritical” question at the outset of this inquiry was to ask whether there were effective means to foster more integrated ways of working across the organization. No doubt this question was derived from my management role, which promoted the discourse of integrative cross-organization working. The national political context was highly significant in that the government's local government modernization agenda was headlining the rhetorical discourse of integrated, or “joined up”, thinking and working in governmental agencies at national and local government levels. The implications of this political agenda at both these central and local levels needed to have a significant place within the “frame” of my inquiry, as did the impacts on self-governance in my role as a corporate manager. The method employed for the inquiry needed to enable these multiple dimensions and interactions of macro politics, organization, and governance of self in role to be explored.

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Medium 9781855755635

CHAPTER SIX: Psycho-social research: relating self, identity, and otherness

Karnac Books ePub

Simon Clarke

I n this chapter, I explore the nature of psycho-social research, its origins, development, and its importance in contemporary social science research, in particular when applied to areas such as cultural identities and Otherness. There is something quite distinct about a psycho-social approach to social research; it is more an attitude, a position towards the subject of study rather than one methodology (see Clarke, 2006). Psycho-social research can be seen to be part of a group of methodologies that point towards a distinct position. These may entail the analysis of group dynamics, observation, or a detailed reading of the co-construction of the research environment between participants (we are all participants) and researchers. For me, and this is very much my own personal journey, the most important element of psycho-social research is that it does not reduce to either social or psychic; there is no duality, the two are so related they are inseparable, or at least we cannot talk about one without the other.

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Medium 9781855755635

CHAPTER NINE: Inquiry as relational practice: thinking relationally about the practice of teaching and learning

Karnac Books ePub

Margaret L. Page

Introduction

What conditions are needed and what conceptual tools required in order for the consultant/educator to enable clients and students to creatively explore tensions that present themselves as polarities? What might relational thinking offer to educators and consultants who wish to develop this capacity? This chapter takes up these questions and explores them through examples drawn from experiences of teaching and learning within management education. Taking up the themes explored by Karen Izod, it draws from the work of Jessica Benjamin and from current research on experiential teaching and learning to explore difficulties and opportunities of inquiry-based teaching and learning within contexts where instrumental approaches predominate. Finally, it returns to the question: so what is special or radical about relational thinking? What is its potential or actual contribution to teaching and learning in university-based management education programmes?

In the first section, I offer an introduction to relational theory and practice, as an application of inquiry-based learning and teaching. This is developed in the three illustrations that follow. The first of these is a co-mentoring relationship that enabled teaching staff to sustain an inquiring stance in relation to Masters level students, and to resist institutional pressures to adopt a more instrumental approach. The second and third sections also relate to Masters level students, this time in the context of a programme that is experiential and based on peer learning. Two vignettes are offered that explore how relational thinking offered a way of making sense, in reflection after the event, of the challenges of sustaining inquiry in the context described. The final section draws together reflections on these experiences to consider what relational thinking might offer to inquiry practice. More specifically, it explores its potential contribution to working with the difficulties and opportunities of management learning in the current UK context, where pressure is intense to stick to instrumental approaches.

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Fear—and psycho-social interviewing

Simon Clarke Karnac Books ePub

Fear—and psycho-social interviewing

Rosie Gilmour

“If the natural world is ruled by fate and chance, and the technical world by rationality and entropy, the social world can only be characterized as existing in fear and trembling” (Bell, in Bauman, 1993, p. 16)

In his recent book on risk, Gardner describes the effects of the 1930s depression in the USA and the palpable fear in a society that seemed to have lost its way, where “fear had settled like a thick, grey fog across Washington”. He notes how Roosevelt famously referred to this in his inaugural address in 1933, with the comment that “… the only thing we have to fear is fear itself— nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance” (Gardner, 2008, p. 5). At the time, America was in a deep recession with millions of its citizens unemployed, impoverished. and fighting for survival. In such conditions, fear would be both understandable and expected.

However, Gardner also posits that, nowadays, in the western world at least, “… we are the healthiest, wealthiest and longest-lived people in history. And we are increasingly afraid. This is one of the greatest paradoxes of our time” (ibid., p. 10).

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CHAPTER FOUR: Relational thinking and welfare practice

Karnac Books ePub

Paul Hoggett

Introduction

In a recent article Anna Yeatman (2007) has compared what she calls liberal and post-liberal forms of individualism in terms of their conceptions of the human subject and the implications of these conceptions for welfare practice. In this chapter, I draw upon current developments linked to the relational turn in psychoanalysis to try and put some more flesh upon what Yeatman calls a “postliberal” or “post patrimonial model” of professional practice.

Classical liberalism

Traditional liberal models of the human subject emphasize rationality and autonomy. Rationality is construed in patriarachal terms, something to be counterposed to emotion, passion, and the language of the body. Autonomy refers to the individual sovereign subject, a self-interested subject capable of co-operation with other self-interested subjects, a unitary self, not one torn by internal conflicts or constituted by its relation to others.

The liberal welfare subject is construed in terms of a deficit or pathology model, constituted in a child-like way as someone lacking the capacity to make reasonable judgements about themselves and the others they have responsibility for. Professional practice arises in conditions of advancing modernity that privilege credentialed expertise. The professional is seen unproblematically as the “one who knows”, but this knowing is situated in the context of an ethical relationship to the other, the one who is known. Professional ethics stress the duty of care to the other. The discretion of the professional expert is therefore bounded by a set of ethical responsibilities. Yeatman (2007) sees this as part of a wider “ethics of patrimonialism” in which “the liberal individual is ethically obligated to protect and provide for those who come under his private jurisdiction whether this is domestic or professional in nature”. The ethical stance of classical professionalism should not be lightly dismissed. Many of the current struggles of teachers, nurses, social workers, and others against the managerialist thrust of successive neo-liberal governments alert us to the continued value of practices that give room for forms of care and discretion, albeit care and discretion cast in a paternalistic fashion.

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