Mental models as filters? LO13027

Yogesh Malhotra (
Wed, 26 Mar 1997 12:39:46 -0400

Replying to LO13012 --

(In reply to LO13010 & LO13012)

Some statements over this thread have suggested the notions of the
'objective reality that lies out there to be discovered' and the 'socially
constructed reality' as if they are two mutually exclusive concepts. One
may argue from the personal constructivist viewpoint, that although there
is an external reality, however, each individual in interacting with it,
creates one's own personal construction of reality. Further, questioning
the simplistic notions of socially constructed reality, the personal
constructivist viewpoint suggests that the artifact of 'socially
constructed reality' itself is a creation of the 'personal construction'
of the individual. Hence, individual's personal construction of the social
reality is as at least as important as the social reality itself.

Most concepts that currently defy the 'processed' nature of knowledge,
such as insights, intuition, creativity, and innovation are often based on
the individually constructed reality that often turns the 'socially
shared' reality [within that context] on its head.

It may also be argued that an overemphasis on a 'shared reality' [such as
the notion of 'best practices' that are expected to be accepted by
everyone] may be harmful and disastrous to the organization by cutting off
the divergent/dialogic/dialectic inquiring processes. Such 'shared
realities' that persist in face of radical change result in the
misalignment of the theory of business (Drucker) with the 'reality' out
there and 'high-tech hidebound' phenomenon. On a related note, the
'paradigm shifts' (Kuhn) occur as a result of the questioning of the
'shared reality' in the process of defining a new vision of reality.

More on Personal Construction is available at:

-- Yogesh Malhotra

Yogesh Malhotra E-mail:
Founder & Principal, @BRINT Research Initiative
@BRINT: On Business, Management & Information Technology


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