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Hypermodernist Travellers in a Postmodern World

Bednar, Peter LU and Welch, Christine (2008) In Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods 6(1). p.1-8
Abstract
Postmodernist perspectives in research have tended to embrace ambiguity, complexity, interconnectedness and contradiction, and have sometimes been described as a rejection of the ‘Grand Theories’ of Modernism. They have been said to reflect a view that previously taken-for-granted assumptions about the organizing principles of social phenomena must be regarded sceptically, and often make use of irony, or even absurdity in attempting to avoid the complacencies of the past. However, there are many instances in which models and explanatory frameworks within which research has been positioned are performing a useful role as metaphor, and have not been adopted naively or prescriptively. As travellers, we are usually aware that a map is not the... (More)
Postmodernist perspectives in research have tended to embrace ambiguity, complexity, interconnectedness and contradiction, and have sometimes been described as a rejection of the ‘Grand Theories’ of Modernism. They have been said to reflect a view that previously taken-for-granted assumptions about the organizing principles of social phenomena must be regarded sceptically, and often make use of irony, or even absurdity in attempting to avoid the complacencies of the past. However, there are many instances in which models and explanatory frameworks within which research has been positioned are performing a useful role as metaphor, and have not been adopted naively or prescriptively. As travellers, we are usually aware that a map is not the territory it represents. However, as researchers, inquiring into practice, are we always aware of the domain within which that practice is situated? Descriptions of practice may sometimes mislead the uncritical eye. For instance, we can ask ourselves whether we believe that a chef actually cooks by following a recipe. Or is that recipe merely a formal description of a much more complex process drawing upon the chef’s contextual understandings of his ingredients, tools and skills in producing ‘food’? Possibly, only someone who does not know how to cook would think otherwise. We believe that there is a need for a critically-informed approach to research, i.e. one which specifically attempts to shed light upon taken-for-granted assumptions and naîve rationalities, illuminating metaphor and stimulating reflection. This ‘Hypermodernism’ includes recognition that ‘Grand Theories’ may be useful as metaphors, i.e. a basis for practical philosophy. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
critical systemic thinking, reflective practice, metaphor, postmodernism, contextual inquiry
in
Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods
volume
6
issue
1
pages
1 - 8
publisher
Academic Conferences
external identifiers
  • scopus:84861554720
ISSN
1477-7029
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
d36bc962-7bc9-4047-8c2a-e92b5f4eb3d7 (old id 1482899)
alternative location
http://www.ejbrm.com/vol6/v6-i1/BednarAndWelch.pdf
date added to LUP
2009-10-06 11:04:05
date last changed
2017-01-01 06:14:40
@article{d36bc962-7bc9-4047-8c2a-e92b5f4eb3d7,
  abstract     = {Postmodernist perspectives in research have tended to embrace ambiguity, complexity, interconnectedness and contradiction, and have sometimes been described as a rejection of the ‘Grand Theories’ of Modernism. They have been said to reflect a view that previously taken-for-granted assumptions about the organizing principles of social phenomena must be regarded sceptically, and often make use of irony, or even absurdity in attempting to avoid the complacencies of the past. However, there are many instances in which models and explanatory frameworks within which research has been positioned are performing a useful role as metaphor, and have not been adopted naively or prescriptively. As travellers, we are usually aware that a map is not the territory it represents. However, as researchers, inquiring into practice, are we always aware of the domain within which that practice is situated? Descriptions of practice may sometimes mislead the uncritical eye. For instance, we can ask ourselves whether we believe that a chef actually cooks by following a recipe. Or is that recipe merely a formal description of a much more complex process drawing upon the chef’s contextual understandings of his ingredients, tools and skills in producing ‘food’? Possibly, only someone who does not know how to cook would think otherwise. We believe that there is a need for a critically-informed approach to research, i.e. one which specifically attempts to shed light upon taken-for-granted assumptions and naîve rationalities, illuminating metaphor and stimulating reflection. This ‘Hypermodernism’ includes recognition that ‘Grand Theories’ may be useful as metaphors, i.e. a basis for practical philosophy.},
  author       = {Bednar, Peter and Welch, Christine},
  issn         = {1477-7029},
  keyword      = {critical systemic thinking,reflective practice,metaphor,postmodernism,contextual inquiry},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {1--8},
  publisher    = {Academic Conferences},
  series       = {Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods},
  title        = {Hypermodernist Travellers in a Postmodern World},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2008},
}