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Monday, 7 December 2009

A paper on method

From: Suzanne Young Sent: Monday, 7 December 2009 2:56 PM
To: FLM Academic Global Subject: EURAM'10 - 19-22 May, 2010 - Rome, Italy
Hi Colleagues. Just to let you know that the submission date for papers for EURAM (European Academy of Management) 2010 to be held in Rome in May has been extended to January 18th 2010. I am the Australian Representative on EURAM executive so if you want any information give me a call. Regards Suzanne [Dr Suzanne Young, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Management, Director of Corporate Responsibility and Global Citizenship, Faculty of Law and Management | La Trobe University | Melbourne]
On 7/12/09 04:00 John Martin wrote:
Hi Simon. What do you think about this as a conf to present our methods paper?
Cheers, John [Professor John Martin, Director, Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities Law and Management, La Trobe University]
From me Monday 7 December:
Dear John. Sounds fine, especially as our Amy’s wedding is in Scotland on 17 May 2010 and so I could travel on the 18th or preferably the morning of the 19th May (not too late?) if we could present on 20, 21 or 22 May ‘10. When I send you the paper I’ve drafted so far it will have URLs directing readers (viewers, listeners) to examples of the method as it evolves with the final ones almost certainly being from Australia. Re titles I’m think of something about investigating - understanding - conversations that make government, investigating the overlap. I’ve typed up a 1000 words so far and will get on with it in the next few days given the submission date of Jan 18. Regarding the idea of ‘inhabiting each other’s worlds’, the phrase is in this film extract:
"...somehow that relationship - the relationship between policy and administration is as nebulous in a way as the distinction between officer and member at that level. Whilst the definitions and the roles are very clear - Brian is a politician and I am an officer - we inhabit each other’s worlds. Brian helps me to make the administrative systems work better - to be more accountable and I can help the political wheels to go more smoothly. It tends to be by sharing information and giving warnings, doesn’t it? Messages if not warnings. It’s that understanding of each other’s problems"
This conversation between Jim Brooks and Brian Clements in 1995 has always been one of the most important in the transition from getting politicians and managers to talking to me to getting them talking with each other. Here they are of course talking to me, but the exchanges between them are palpable. Jim went on to be CEO in Hull and great difficulties there. Typical of the point that no-one can assume they have acquired the skills, because when it comes to it, in your phrase, integrity is not a skill ‘it’s a choice.’ and then on top of that there are ‘events, dear boy, events.’
The shift is marked by a downgrading of the technology and film quality as I stop using my university TV and Film Unit and start relying on my own kit. Familiar?(:))
By the way at some point in the paper I would want to make reference to the shift to pursuing the concept of intersubjectivity.
Prue Chamberlayne and Annette King when at the Centre for Biography in Social Policy, Department of Sociology, University of East London (in 2000 - all reorganised since then) were especially helpful in helping my understanding of the importance of getting out of the interview or, rather, being more sensitive about the terms on which I entered it - stopping trying to get ‘interviewees’ to answer ‘my’ questions. You convey your interest and then let them take you on the journey.
'In addition, it should be said that researchers using 'polished' biographical narratives (written out and corrected) are not likely to benefit from BNIM (Biographic-Narrative Interpretive Method), since the improvised nature of the interview self-expression is crucial to the understanding of subjectivity.'
Best, Simon
Note: stay in touch with MethodSpace?
* * * Copenhagen Climate Change Conference 2009: A brief inventory of different positions marshalled by the better known climate change sceptics with brief rebuttals. Competing paradigms are, as Kuhn concluded, incommensurable; his implication being that no amount of reasoning from one position (e.g. those who hold that climate change is not happening or is not caused by human activity) will bring about a shift to the other (e.g. those who hold climate change is happening and is caused by human action), hence slanging matches that swiftly descend to argumentum ad hominem - the logical fallacy of attempting to undermine your here opponent's character rather than their argument. This is a striking example of an argument which over the last 25 years has for obvious practical reasons been extracted from the professional sphere, where it had resided since 1896 when Svante Arrhenius proposed the possibility of fossil fuel produced climate change, into the political sphere where different rules apply to the settlement of differences. [See forward to here in Democracy Street]

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Simon Baddeley