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Content about New York

July 16, 2011

Although academic and leadership literature tends to use “team” and “group” synonymously to describe a group of two or more interacting people, proponents of work teams and learning teams generally recognize important differences between groups and teams that can influence how leaders design, implement, and interact with teams. Distinguishing between a team and a group can help teachers to understand the proper leadership for the context.

June 29, 2011

Organizational development practitioners are shifting from episodic change to continuous change process to enhance adaptability in increasingly turbulent environments. Although some researchers tend to present episodic and continuous change processes as mutually exclusive, both appear to be different perspectives on the same phenomena. Episodic change processes provide a macro level perspective on planned processes leaders implement to address failings, threats, or opportunities. Continuous change provides a micro level perspective on the unplanned changed processes that naturally occur through the dynamic interaction of people, process, technology, and environment. This paper compares analyzes episodic and continuous perspectives on change, concluding that understanding the definition, theoretical foundations, and practical applications of both provides leaders with a more complete picture of change that helps them to more effectively manage adaptability in turbulent environments.

June 28, 2011

Historical approaches to planned change typically offer prepackaged processes for driving changes to achieve organizational goals. However, the complexity of dynamically interacting and divergent forces at work in and around organizations limit the possibility of selecting one single approach for a change intervention. Seo, Putnam, and Bartunek (2004) offer the concepts of duality and tension to explain the dynamics of change and the implications of divergent approaches to change. A dichotomous perspective does not adequately represent reality, but dualities serve a valuable function for helping change practitioners to understand that managing duality is a key to “grasping the complexities and dynamics of planned change” (p. 102). To understand the key perspectives that have guided OD, I will consider key OD perspectives through the concept of dualities. I will then consider central debates and assumptions of OD change approaches against the duality and tension framework suggested by Seo, et al, and will conclude by suggesting that a dichotomous perspective can be limiting, but offers a way to understand how to balance multiple dualities that underlie complex change dynamics.

May 18, 2011

Although general system theory explains how interdependent components work together to make the system more than its subsequent parts (Bertalanffy, 1972), chaos theory explains how tiny variations in initial conditions can have major influence on unfolding events within the system (Capra, 1996; Gleick, 2008) that make prediction a risky, if not impossible process. This essay will explore the nature of chaos theory in systems to discover how the unpredictability of events can be harnessed for real-world applications.

Although general system theory explains how interdependent components work together to make the system more than its subsequent parts (Bertalanffy, 1972), chaos theory explains how tiny variations in initial conditions can have major influence on unfolding events within the system (Capra, 1996; Gleick, 2008) that make prediction a risky, if not impossible process. This essay will explore the nature of chaos theory in systems to discover how the unpredictability of events can be harnessed for real-world applications.

May 17, 2011

Neuroscience is demonstrating that theorists like Freud, Piaget, and Erikson were wrong when they concluded that adulthood marked the end of development and the beginning of decline to death. To the contrary, emerging discoveries are showing how adulthood is a time of new possibility with immense potential to nurture.

May 17, 2011

Platitudes that assert leadership and management are diametrically opposed concepts promote an inaccurate stereotype that tarnishes understanding of both while diminishing the potential effectiveness of those who adopt the axiom as a guiding philosophy.

This is an excerpt from "Leadership Perspectives" an unpublished paper by Brent Duncan.

May 3, 2011

Dynamic and diverse student needs require that the instructor build a flexible leadership style and a versatile toolkit for building a dynamic learning environment in which learners can recognize value, regardless of their learning stage.

April 27, 2011

Exploring the evolution of leadership thought from ancient times to contemporary research provides rich perspectives that provide today's leaders with insight, awareness, and tools for enhancing their ability to influence others.

Note: This post is an excerpt from Leadership Perspectives by Brent Duncan, an unpuplished paper.

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January 17, 2011

The truths in the field of social psychology seem as disparate as those that drive countless ideological perspectives in the traditional realm. This creates a discipline for which “There are almost as many definitions of social psychology as there are social psychologists” (Aronson, 1972,  p. 4). To the outsider, the field of social psychology may seem to be little more than people with competing perspectives applying fancy words to truths that have been known throughout history. 

January 14, 2011

Regardless of his pioneering role in revolutionizing psychology in the second half of the 20th century, Abraham Maslow seems to have become a regular target of both criticism and disregard in academic and scientific circles. This rejection invites inquiry into why controversy surrounds one man's vision for a psychology to help people grow toward and transcend "full humanness". This paper reviews Maslow's needs theory against modern perceptions and criticisms, discovers a seeming disconnect between Maslow and his interpreters, and proposes a new perspective on Maslow that might align textbooks with Maslow's intent so researchers can attempt to measure a holistic dynamic process rather than a rigid and fallacious metaphor.

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