The Kelly Corporation

Lindsay Oades (
8 May 1996 16:42:01 +1000

Hi Mailers,

In 1993 Balnaves and Caputi (IJPCP 6:119-138) proposed the existence of
corporate constructs (specialized techniques and forms of thought). They
claimed that corporate constructs are not social constructs, and the idea of a
corporate construct does not contradict Kelly's requirement that an individual
is a site of decision making. It was claimed that people can construe
corporate constructs as part of their personal constructs, but personal
constructs are not corporate constructs. Corporate actors (eg football clubs,
associations, banks, mailing lists) and individuals are sites of decision
making. Private and public language is possible, but the tecniques of language
use are corporate constructs. This is opposed to social constructs where no
private language is possible and personal constructs where private language is
possible, ie preverbal.

We are attempting to elaborate the notion of a corporate constructs as
something different from commonality and professional constructs.
Interestingly, the recent activities on this list seem directly relevant to
our aim. Can we make sense of the removal of Bill Chamber's from the mailing
list in terms of corporate constructs? Bill referred to members of the list as
the Kelly Cult- perhaps it could be called the Kelly Corporation. Although
Bill's personal meanings may well have been different, in our view it is
likely that there are some specialised techniques, styles of reasoning etc of
the PCP mailing list corporation (and of course mailing lists in general).
"Netiquette" is a term often used to describe them in general. In our view
Bill was removed for violating some of the explicit rules of Netiquette.
However, many members seemed unhappy etc with Bill and wished to have him
removed for what were often implicit violations of the PCP mail corporation.
In our endeavour to elaborate the notion of a corporate construct it would be
helpful to us if people could expand on what they believe the corporate
constructs are of this mailing list. For example, it appears that personal
attacks were not appreciated. Hence, one corporate construct of this list (and
much of the intellectual world) was the non acceptance of ad hominen
interaction. Why then were people so cautious? Was constructive alternativism
another corporate construct operating? If so, how is this different from what
Kelly described as a professional construct?

In general we hope this request seems consistent with the reflexive nature of
the theory. We do not wish to side in the debate but rather try to make sense
of it using a new theoretical construct, the corporate construct. The article
can be found in IJPCP 6:119-138 (1993). I hope some people will be interested
in responding. What corporate constructs has our expelled member violated?

Peter Caputi & Lindsay Oades
University of Wollongong