The theories behind my academic work

Reading any academic work raises the question for me of ‘Where did those ideas come from?’ Sometimes it may be apparent from the author’s choice of paradigms, their theoretical perspective(s), their research approach or even their references and style of writing. These clues, whilst helpful, are not always easy to find or to unravel.

How can you find out more about my own academic work? Click on any of the buttons on the left for a comprehensive list of past and present publications.

An interlude admiring Mozart’s statue during the European Conference for Educational Research, Vienna, 2009

The following theoretical frameworks and concepts have helped to shape my thinking and research. They also provide an underpinning structure to my own developing theories. As Kurt Lewin observed, ‘There is nothing so practical as a good theory.’

  • Open systems thinking ~ von Bertalanffy, Checkland, Lenge
  • Multiple methods of organizational effectiveness ~ Whetten and Cameron
  • Threshold concepts as portals to learning ~ Land and Meyer
  • Communities of practice and shared learning/development ~ Wenger, Vygotsky
  • Organizational perspectives ~ Burrell and Morgan, Etzioni, Schein, Schön
  • The significance of cultural diversity ~ Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner
  • Troublesome knowledge and ‘episteme’ ~  Perkins 
  • Making the implicit explicit ~ Lovitts
  • Research genres~  Burrow, Swales
  • Paradigms as ways of seeing situations ~ Kuhn, C. Wright Mills

These pioneering writers have guided my thinking, my research approach, my choice of research topics and the mode in which I write. Their influences will be seen in the accompanying publications. If some or all of them are new to you, do give them a look.

New ideas come to light when enquiring minds come together...