Wednesday, April 15, 2009

QMethodology: Integrating Knowledge and Practice to Advance Human Dignity

In searching the road for QMethodology Dr.Fran.M shared this with me:

" Ockwell, David G. (2008). “Opening up” policy to reflexive appraisal: a role for Q Methodology? A case study of fire management in Cape York, Australia. Policy Sciences, 41(4), 263–292. Abstract: Recent decades have witnessed increasing attention in theory and practice to participatory approaches to policy appraisal, in part due to the potential of such approaches to facilitate reflexive policy appraisal. It has been observed, however, that in practice these approaches are often as prone as traditional, non-participatory appraisal techniques to being limited in the extent to which that can achieve reflexivity, e.g., due to the influence of interests and power and problems of representation. This article explores the extent to which Q methodology, or “Q”, can play a role in “opening up” (Stirling, Science, Technology & Human Values, 33, 262–294, 2008) policy to reflexive appraisal. A Q study of fire management discourses in Cape York, northern Australia is presented which exposes the existence of four key discourses in the region: discourse A—rational fire management; discourse B—fire-free conservation; discourse C—pragmatic, locally controlled burning; and discourse D—indigenous controlled land management. At present only discourses A and C are reflected in policy. Appraising existing policy on the basis of the different constructions articulated by discourses B and D of the purpose of and practices involved in fire management, is successful in opening up existing policy to reflexive appraisal. In the face of considerable scientific uncertainty as to the ecological impacts of different burning regimes in northern Australia, this process of opening up has important potential for appraising the social desirability of existing policy and practice in the region. This analysis provides a practical demonstration of the wider potential of Q methodology in opening up other important contemporary policy issues to reflexive appraisal. It also provides the basis for recommending the expansion of participatory processes for facilitating stakeholder engagement in fire management policy and practice in Cape York. "

Also as a seperate artical but related and linked in the content of these links shown:

Policy Sciences: "(1) social process, which is mapped in terms of participants, perspectives, situations, base values, strategies, outcomes and effects, with values (power, wealth, enlightenment, skill, rectitude, respect, well-being, and affection) being the key elements in understanding participants’ behaviors and interactions; (2) decision process, which is mapped in terms of seven functions—intelligence, promotion, prescription, invocation, application, termination, and appraisal; and (3) problem orientation, which comprises the intellectual tasks of clarifying goals, describing trends, analyzing conditions, projecting developments, and inventing, evaluating, and selecting alternatives."

NOTE: I wonder..............
How is subjective judgement, opinion and data blended into the objective process all to regularly needed/applied as the traditional business method. If you look at any board or any team, there may be a common strategy or plan but there will be a strong subjective element by which individuals judge or see those plans being acted upon to deliver their hoped for future outcome. If all strategies and plans were purely objective then they would always succeed and of course they too often dont. The nature of that "subjective" component means vast difference and gaps open up in subjective judgment, only with careful leadership and management can "alignment" be gained to ensure success. This eaither helps proactively or reactively but it will help in advance of the outcome arriving. As all to often that alignment doesnt happen, is it something like QMethodology applied to the board, the shop floor team or throughout a whole organisation or community that real lasting improvements for the future can be found?! Im interested in any comments on this please!!!


At 20/4/09 18:30, Blogger degrootjge said...

Good to read, and I agree!


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