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School of Business, Örebro University Working Papers, School of Business, Örebro University

No 2003:3:
Theories as Agents of Progress – Can we see a Bridge between Constructionism, Chaos Theory and Organization Research?

Detlef Quast

Abstract: ”Constructionism shares constructivism's connotation of learning as ”building knowledge structures” irrespective of the circumstances of the learning. It then adds that this happens especially felicitously in a context where the learner is consciously engaged in constructing a public entity, whether it's a sandcastle on the beach or a theory of the univ erse... If one eschews pipeline models of transmitting knowledge in talking among ourselves as well as in theorizing about class rooms, then one

must expect that I will not be able to tell you about my idea of constructionism. Doing so is bound to trivialize it. Instead, I must confine myself to engage you in experiences (including verbal ones) liable to encourage your own personal construction of something in some sense like it. Only in this way will there be something rich enough in your mind to be worth talking about.” (Papert, 1991)

This essay is intented as a contribution to the philosophical discussion of the development of

science, i.e. the process of adopting, keeping and rejecting scientific theories. The aim of this short investigation is to make a contribution to the understanding of constructionism and other scientific theories like chaos theory and self-organization, which influences organization theories. The present essay constitutes rather an elaboration of views than a solution to given problems but perhaps the views gives another piece to the puzzle of understanding the development of scientific theories.

Keywords: chaos theory; constructionism; organization theory; self-organization; self- fullfilling prophecy; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: A23; (follow links to similar papers)

22 pages, August 9, 2004

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