Re: Social Constructionism

Devi (
Tue, 2 Jun 98 18:09:57 +0100

Dear Robin,

>Question 1.
>Are Personal Construct Psychology and Social Constructionism
>incompatible points of view? I find myself beginning to place a foot
>in each camp. I see some specific areas of incompatibility but a
>number of areas of congruence. In your opinion(s) can a person
>comfortably subscribe to both PCP and Social Constructionism

There have been some good papers on this issue in the Journal of
Constructivist Psychology, as well as papers given at the Barcelona
Mike Mascolo is seeking to build bridges (Mascolo 1994; Mascolo & Dalto
1995), and the entire issue of the Journal for 1997, vol 10 no 1 was
devoted to "frontier" issues, see e.g. John Shotter's paper ; Luis
Botella (1995) is also interesting and has some further pertinent
references included.

>Question 2.
>I run a Stage 3 degree course on Organisational Behaviour. There are
>numerous available textbooks, all portraying discourses that I don't
>feel particularly endeared to. Does anyone know of a textbook
>suitable for Stage 3 degree level Organisational Behaviour that takes
>a constructivist / constuctionist perspective (provided the two
>perspectives are compatible)? We claim, here, to provide an applied
>focus to our degree programme rather than strictly academic. In my
>course however, a major component involves challenging mindsets, and
>awareness of constructive alternativism in problem solving etc. In
>other words its a course on alternative ways to think when working in
>organisations rather than a course on how to do.

Tricky. Stewart & Stewart's _Business Aplications of Repertory Grid_ has,
I see, already been offered you; my own chapter in Neimeyer & Neimeyer's
_Advances in PCP_ vol 1 reviews largely Personnel & HRM uses up to the
early 1990s but isn't exactly what you're after. If you find out, let me
know: or better still, why don't we do basic text together?!

On the other hand, if you're more interested in teaching ressearch method
rather than general OB, and if you were to present the theme in the
context of the methodology of managerial / organizational knowledge, then
Arbnor & Bjerke 1997 are _excellent_, comparing as they do positivist,
systems, and constructivist epistemologies. But we _are_ talking mature
students or at least a final year undergraduate audience here.

Kind regards,


PS I mean it about D-I-Y: how about it?

Arbnor I. & Bjerke B. (1997) _Methodology for Creating Business
Knowledge_ London: Sage.
Botella L. & Gallifa J. (1995) "A constructivist approach to the
development of personal epistemic assumptions and worldviews" Journal of
Constructivist Psychology 8, 1, 1-18.
Mascolo M. (1994) "Toward a social constructivist psychology: the case of
self-evaluative emotional development" Journal of Constructivist
Psychology 7, 2, 87-106.
Mascolo M. & Dalto C.A. "Self and modernity on trial: a reply to Gergen's
'Saturated Self' " Journal of Constructivist Psychology 1995, 8, 3,