If not a Project, then what?

I’ve got a feeling that this is going to be quite a long post because I have spent the last two weeks grappling in my head with something that concerns me.

I’ve never been one for Programmes and Projects – with capital ‘P’s – with all the trappings of templates and documentation and traffic light reports but recently I’ve found myself yearning for more structure and more shape to what I am doing. I’ve started to wonder if – in my wholesale rejection of Project methodologies, I have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

True it has been a bit of a extra messy time with particular big fluxes of events and issues over time.  Lots and lots of uncertainty – maybe the woolliness is getting to the point when I am lost – and if I’m lost then others around me probably are too.  I have started taking action at work to change this but I do want to explore – if not a Project, then what? Continue reading


Not sure where to start with this really.  ‘Knowing’ is one of those concepts I have come up against a few times.  Okay straight away my use of the phrase ‘come up against’ in the last sentence tells me that I am in some sort of adversarial battle with this concept.  It feels like that every time I encounter it, I kind of ‘get on top of it’, feel as if I am the master.  But then, it drifts away and next time we meet I have to start all over again. Continue reading

Epistemology and research

When I studied D843 Discourse Analysis, I experienced my first formal foray into epistemology – a concern with the status of knowledge and the associated claims made by researchers.  I am sure I have only had a little insight into a vast topic but I want to re-visit those materials to inform my upcoming research.

Taylor (2001, 11-15) distinguishes two broad composites of different traditions in the epistemological claims made by researchers. Continue reading

Talk by Ralph Stacey

hooray – assignment in – now I can start blogging again.

Last week, University of Northumbria had Ralph Stacey up to do a talk.  He’s a Professor of Management at University of Hertfordshire.  I’d heard of him because of the books he has written about complexity and management.

His latest book is Complexity and Organizational Reality: the need to rethink management after the collapse of investment capitalism (Routledge, 2010).  The topic of the talk was very similiar – Uncertainty and the need to rethink management after the collapse of investment capitalism.

So rather than have my scribbled notes hanging around on a bit of paper, I thought I would blog about his talk and my reflections.

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What does ‘critical’ mean?

I have been reading about critical social learning systems and it has set me thinking – what is the difference between social learning and critical social learning.  Or perhaps more specifically, what did Bawden and his colleagues seek to emphasise and draw attention to when they chose to use the prefix the phrase with the word critical?

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Just a short quick note about the word ‘identify’ or maybe I mean the practice of identification.  I want to put it here as it is an understanding I have gained from the stream of posts on the course forum, and, well, I just don’t want to lose it.

In a world of objects, identify seems to be about pointing out, labelling and naming.  It assumes tangible-ness.

So how does the practice of identification work with systems?

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Vickers’ key concepts

(Activity 3.10, 3.11, SAQ 3.3)

I think I mentioned elsewhere that I have come across Geoffrey Vickers work on “appreciation” a few times before but I have never had the opportunity to look at the source material and the writing of the man himself.  From reading the relevant chapter (Blackmore (Ed), 2010, Chapter 2) I have gained the following understanding of key concepts.

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