Chapter

Conflict: The Fourth Way of Knowing

MITROFF IAN I. and LINSTONE HAROLD A.

in The Unbounded Mind

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780195102888
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854943 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195102888.003.0005
Conflict: The Fourth Way of Knowing

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The concept of the Dialectic or the necessity of conflict in analyzing important problems is described in this chapter. It focuses on the use of the Dialectic as a practical decision tool rather than as an abstract idea. The authors contend that the ability to examine complex situations from a dialectical perspective is a critical analytic ability for problem-solvers to master. The case of the U.S. auto industry as a natural dialectic is explored. In the Dialectic IS, the purpose of data is not to settle issues, but rather to surface the intense differences in background assumptions between two or more divergent positions. Further, the guarantor of this system is conflict. In this system, something is “objective” if and only if it is the product or the result of an intense debate between two polarized positions.

Keywords: Dialectic IS; conflict; U.S. auto industry; decision tool; problem-solvers; dialectic; knowing; debate

Chapter.  4997 words. 

Subjects: Innovation

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