Glossary

of Methodology for Creating Business Knowledge

Each word in italics in the glossary is possible to find as a cross-reference. We strongly recommend going further with such references if they are not already familiar to the reader.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


ABC•IC
The Arbnor Business Creating • Intelligence Cycle (see Figure 15.2).

abduction
To place a single case (the result) from the study area in a hypothetical pattern to be confirmed by theoretical "rules" and/or new observations; a kind of combination of induction and deduction; associated with the analytical view.

actors approach
Actors view in application.

actors view
A methodology for creating knowledge devoted to understand, create and vivify meaning in reality, where this reality is presumed to be socially constructed.

analysis
An analysis can be made within all three of the methodological views. An analysis, according to the analytical view, consists of dissecting an object into its parts. An analysis in the systems view consists of explaining and/or understanding the relations of an object's parts to each other, to the totality. The analysis concept is also used in the actors view (however, more common is diagnosis) in order to emphasize an interest in looking at different parts and their dialectic relations to each other.

analytical approach
Analytical view in application.

analytical philosophy
A generic term for a philosophical movement, which has made the methodological use of conceptual analysis and formal logic its central theme; associated with the analytical view.

analytical view
A methodology for creating knowledge devoted to explain causality in reality, where this reality is presumed to be factive and built up summatively.

anomaly
A deviation from the normal or common order in the frame of a paradigm.

antithesis
A dialectical element of a process, where this second (antithesis) is the contrasting part of the first (thesis), with the first inherent in itself; associated with the actors view.

approach
See methodological approach.

Arbnor/Bjerke Methodological Principle of Complementarity
"The potential interdependency in opposite methodological opinions of similar problems is to be used for excellent explanations and/or understanding of them. The principle implies that there are many such problems with this kind of inherent interdependency, which cannot fully be treated by only one of the approaches, in question. Therefore, it is possible and desirable to use complementarity in studies faced with multifaced problems."

Arbnor Uncertainty Principle
"The more precisely you determine isolated characteristics of a human being and her activities, quantitatively and statistically, the less you understand of her as a whole. And the better you understand her as a whole, the more uncertain the quantitative/statistic aspects become."

artistics
The way in which the actors creator of knowledge expresses his/her knowledge-creating as a procreative language of description. Also, the final expression format of this interpretive pictorial language creating meaning and new perspectives (opposite: statistics).

atomism
A philosophical/scientific perspective, presuming that aspects of a given situation can be determined or explained summatively by its parts (opposite: holism).

base view/approach
A denotation of a methodological view/approach when used as a transformative operator in a methodology of complementarity.

causality
A presumed relationship between an explaining factor (cause) and a factor being explained (effect); associated with the analytical view.

cause
See causality.

ceteris paribus
"Everything else being equal"; circumstances presumed to be valid for explanations in the analytical view.

complementarity
A concept describing how a potential interdependency in opposite methodological opinions of similar problems can be used in a reconciliation for excellent explanations and/or understanding of them.

complementary procedure
A transformative operation, where a technique/method/theory from one methodological view is being brought into another methodological view and inevitably transformed by being so (opposite: primary procedure). Compare methodical procedure.

consistency
A concept of quality assurance, according to knowledge creating. Degree of methodological syntactical match in relation to ultimate presumptions of a methodological view. The concept is an essential core element of the overall scientific concept, crealiability, for excellence in knowledge creating work.

consistency of complementarity
A concept of quality assurance, according to knowledge creating of complementarity. Degree of methodological syntactical match of complementarity in relation to the ultimate presumptions of the transformative operator. The concept is an essential core element of the overall scientific concept, crealiability of complementarity, for excellence in knowledge creating work.

constitutional factors
Factors, which are socially constructed, by which reality is built up socially; associated with the actors view.

constitutional ideal
A more "general" principle for how reality is socially constructed and how it could be if the potential in what is factual was delivered; associated with the actors view.

constitutive interpretive procedures
"Rules" by which creators of knowledge interpret/understand the reality which the actors and the creators of knowledge are part of socially constructing themselves; associated with the actors view.

constitutive understanding
Understanding which is seen as an inevitable part of reality, where this reality is presumed to be socially constructed; associated with the actors view (opposite: representative understanding).

constructionism
See the Appendix

constructivism
See constructionism.

crealiability
The concept is a compound of creativity and liability and the prefix "crea" denotes, in scientific contexts, to be creative, to have imagination and ingenuity, this connected to the suffix "liability" in the sense of responsibility, obligation and duty. Crealiability is our concept for excellence in knowledge-creating work and consists of the four core elements: creativity, objectivity [validity/reliability], stringency and consistency.

creator of knowledge
(also knowledge creator) A conscious researcher, consultant and/or investigator who has the will to apply curiosity and imagination, has the insight that knowledge also contains manifestations of ultimate presumptions, and uses his/her training in the concrete handicraft to develop knowledge, and to present new knowledge to others and be accountable for it.

culture
Fundamental values, assumptions and beliefs associated with members of a social group (can also be seen as, or including, how a social group manifests itself in various artifacts, including language).

cybernetics
A generic term, taken from Wiener around 1950, to describe teleological structures, interactions, responses, feedbacks etc in complex systems. The "art of steering and control" of multifaceted systems structures, especially communication processes.

deduction
Inference of specific forecasts/conclusions from general theories/premises; associated with the analytical view (compare: induction and abduction)

denotation of conceptual meaning
A fundamental ambition of the actors view, that is, to come up with pictures/descriptions/metaphors of how actors attach meaning to their language and actions.

depiction
A "map" of reality, where this reality is presumed to be factive; associated with the analytical view and the systems view in the explanatory mode.

determinism
A philosophical concept, presuming that every phenomenon or event, including human acts and behavior, has a cause - is causally determined by a link of previous occurrences; partly associated with the analytical view and the systems view.

diagnosis
A way to interactively interpret and understand actors in situations of everyday life through deeper insight and broadened perspectives; associated with the actors view.

dialectics
The process of thesis, antithesis and synthesis, that is, relationships and situations where people constantly reinterpret and give different meaning value. This is also the process where the knowledge-creator gives scientific meaning to his/her interactive diagnosis; associated with the actors view.

dialogue
The interplay between "talking" and "listening" that takes place on equal terms for the participants. A dialogue is to clarify differences in order to transgress them towards something new, in a deepened understanding and meaning of life, that is, the parties of the dialogues are looking for an agreement through what is different; associated with the actors view.

discourse
A praxis in communication, governed by (often implicit) rules. In social science applications it involves concepts, methods and skills with specific purposes. This means, in general, that the chosen discourse delivers a way of thinking and a style of communicating. The concept is mostly connected with the work of Foucault (see the Appendix).

eclectic maze
A jumbled mixture of what appear to be best techniques, theories, and so on, without any reflection in relation to ultimate presumptions on the various methodological views.

effect
See causality.

egological sphere
The internal logic of an actor that constitutes his/her finite province of meaning, and by which he/she orients him/herself; associated with the actors view.

emancipative understanding
Come to an understanding that one's reality is seen through the "lenses" of a language and that those lenses can be shifted, thereby providing another understanding; associated with the actors view.

emancipatory interactive action
Action taken by the creator of knowledge together with other actors in the study area, aiming at providing emancipative understanding by delivering the potential in what is factual; associated with the actors view.

empirical
Pertaining to human experience.

empiricism
A philosophical movement, presuming that all knowledge of reality, seen as factive, is derived from our sensory impressions (opposite: rationalism).

epistemology
A set of philosophical presumptions concerning human knowledge and learning. The philosophical "theory" of the nature and grounds of knowledge.

ethnography
See the Appendix.

ethnomethodology
See the Appendix.

everyday reality
See life-world.

explaining
Providing objective and/or subjective reasons for phenomena or events, presumed to be independent of us as creators of knowledge; associated with the analytical view and the systems view in the explanatory mode.

externalization
The process by which we make our subjectivity available to others ("society is a human result"); associated with the actors view.

factified reality
See factual reality

factive reality
A reality presumed to be built of by objective and/or subjective facts and independent of us as creators of knowledge; associated with the analytical view and the systems view.

factual reality
A reality, presumed to be socially constructed but treated as a fact without being one in the sense of the analytical view and the systems view (can also be called factified reality); associated with the actors view.

falsification
If a theory is to be regarded as scientific, according to the concept of falsification, it has also to specify results that, if found, would disprove the theory. Falsification means therefore to direct the researcher's attention to look for refuting or counter instances as well. Conclusions in the theoretical reality for prediction are open for falsification, that is denial in empirical reality that some conclusion derived in the theoretical reality is valid; associated with the analytical view (opposite: verification). The concept is connected with the work of Popper.

finality
A presumed relationship between an explaining factor (producer) and a factor being explained (product), that is, to explain by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated previous causes (see causality); associated with the systems view.

finite province of meaning
An actor's picture/concept of reality - the actor's subjective reality in its entirety - more or less socially shared by a larger or a smaller number of other actors (includes also parts of which are not shared with anybody else); associated with the actors view.

functionalism
A philosophical/scientific thought, having made the relationship between patterns and their factive consequences a central theme; associated with the systems view.

General Systems Theory
A scientific attempt to come up with a holistic theory of life and nature, based on systems principles; a forerunner to the systems view.

grounded theory
A scientific branch, based on the idea of systematically collecting and analyzing data from the study area instead of starting from "grand theories"; mainly associated with the analytical view or the systems view.

hermeneutics
See the Appendix.

holism
A philosophical/scientific perspective, presuming that all aspects of a given situation cannot be determined or explained by its parts only; associated with the systems view (opposite: atomism or reductionism).

hypothesis
In a strict sense: a cause-effect (see causality) relationship proposal, not yet verified or falsified; associated with the analytical view. In a loose sense: supposition, idea, point of departure, etc.; mainly associated with the systems view and the actors view.

idealism
See the Appendix.

ideal-typified language
A more "general" language constituted by typified cases and the constitutional ideal; associated with the actors view.

induction
Generation of general theories from individual facts in the empirical (factive) reality; associated with the analytical view (compare: deduction and abduction).

institutionalization
The process of establishing values, norms, routines, etc. as institutions in the socially constructed reality; associated with the actors view.

institutions
An institution emerges according to the actors view when common typifications of habitual acts are established. By "institution" can be meant everything from established concepts of description - lingoes/clichés to different public authorities; associated with the actors view.

intentionality
The dimension, process and structure behind intention that gives a meaning to experience; associated with the actors view.

internalization
The process by which we take over the world in which others already live ("humans are a societal result"); associated with the actors view.

interpretation
To decode something contextually and through that coming up with an understanding, either by a metaphor provided by the creator of knowledge in the understanding mode of the systems view, or by a denotation of conceptual meaning in the actors view.

intersubjectivity
Agreement between results from creators of knowledge, working independently of each other; mainly associated with the analytical view.

knowledge creator
See creator of knowledge.

legitimization
The process of the justification of institutions in socially constructed reality; associated with the actors view.

life-world
(also called everyday reality) The world regarded as the one immediately given to us in everyday life and not imposed by any scientific models or one's own interpretations. In a society where scientific results continuously influence us, this is a crucial concept (compare: self-reference); associated with the actors view.

magnifying level
Degree of details contained in systems models or systems interpretations; associated with the systems view.

materialism
See the Appendix.

meaning
Significant sense-quality (value and importance) that actors attached to their situation; associated with the actors view.

meaning structure
A more "complete" built-up of meaning relations in a group of actors; associated with the actors view.

metaphor
In everyday life for most of us, a figure of speech where things are compared in a symbolic way, as in "she is a dolphin" about a swimmer. In science, a concept, an abstraction or image placed by the creator of knowledge on one situation in the study area, taken from another and different situation, where the qualities of the intrinsic sense of the metaphor thus are transferred to the object in question in the first situation. A metaphor may therefore in knowledge-creating pave the way for new perspectives; associated with the systems view and the actors view.

metaphysics
Branch of philosophy that deals with "being" (ontology) and "knowing" (epistemology), that is, the ultimate nature of reality. These kinds of studies have been subjected to many criticisms regarded as too subtle and theoretical. Since the middle of the nineteenth century the predominant social science course has been positivism, which denies the value of any metaphysical assertion.

metatheories
The background theories in the conception of science that are held by creators of knowledge and that, in general terms, guide their practical knowledge-creating. More fundamental "theories of theories", which inevitably include the people using them; associated with the actors view.

method
Guiding principle for creation of knowledge and choosing among techniques.

methodical procedure
The way the creator of knowledge incorporates, develops and/or modifies a technique or a previous result and/or theory in a methodological view; can be of a primary or a complementary type.

methodics
Applying methodical procedures in a plan and/or in an implementation of a study.

methodological approach
A methodological view in application.

methodological view
A consistent setup of ultimate presumptions, concepts and principles guiding creation of knowledge. Three such views are: the analytical view, the systems view and the actors view.

methodology
A theory and a grammar of the modes of thinking and acting for knowledge creating.

methodology of complementarity
A complete grammar for creating knowledge containing primary as well as complementary procedures open for all kinds of transformative operations within the three base views/approaches.

model
A deliberately simplified picture of the factive reality; mainly associated with the analytical view and the systems view in explanatory mode. The concept may also be used by the actors view in "painting" the socially constructed reality, both in the sense of visualizing aspects of it and vivifying the potential in what is factual, but, of course, then with a totally different meaning of the concept than with the two other views.

narrative
A story guided by specific rules, either seen as a part of the factive reality in the systems view (narrative realism) or as told by actors as part of the factified reality (narrative constructionism).

objectification
The process by which an externalized human thought and/or act might attain the characteristics of a socially constructed objectivity ("society is an objective reality"); associated with the actors view.

objectified
Something seen as objective in the actors view without being so in the sense of the others two views; this means that this objectivity of reality can be questioned and changed in the logic of delivering what is potential in what is factual.

objective
Characteristic of the non-subjective part of the factive reality, presumed to be general and independent of any single individual; mainly associated with the analytical view.

objectivity
See objectified and objective. As a concept of quality assurance in knowledge creating and as a core element of crealiability it will signify different substances in relation to the various methodological views. (See "The problem of objectivity" in Chapter 7.)

ontology
A set of philosophical thoughts and presumptions concerning the setup and constitution of all reality and the problems/opportunities of existence. (See metaphysics.)

operative paradigm
A consistent arrangement of methodical procedures and methodics as a bridge between a methodological view/approach and a study area.

paradigm
A philosophical and theoretical framework of presumptive and guiding principles which are governing knowledge and the creation of knowledge, but which cannot be empirically or logically tested.

phenomenology
A philosophical branch, which has made the study of human consciousness or subjective experience, neglecting questions of truth in the sense of traditional analytical philosophy, a central theme. The intentional diagnosis of everyday life from the point of departure of the actors, who are living it, is a central theme; associated with the actors view.

positivism
A philosophical/scientific branch presuming that classic natural sciences are the path to true knowledge. By using the methods of these sciences, suggesting that human behavior is an effect of social, economic, biological, etc. causes, the truth of the factive reality will be mapped; mainly associated with the analytical view.

pragmatism
A school of philosophy, based on the principle that a scientific result is judged by its usefulness, workability, etc. when applied in the empirical world; mainly associated with the systems view.

pre-scientific concept
A concept that will be taken for granted when conducting a study, because of its belonging to the special subject, the lingo of the profession, the study area, etc. in question.

primary procedure
The term for a methodical procedure when applied in a methodology of complementarity (opposite, in this frame of methodology: complementary procedure).

problematization
To make what is common uncommon – to question what is taken for granted. To pave the way for new points of departure for orientation and by this discover new aspects. Problematization is therefore intimately connected to both the act of knowing and the concrete situations in the study area, as well as the act of creativity.

producer-product relationship
Same as finality relationship; associated with the systems view.

procreative report
A written report with ambitions to communicate procreative understanding; associated with the actors view.

procreative understanding
A kind of higher form of consciousness that fertilizes the mental power to create, to transform, to vivify, and to change in uniquely and desirable directions; associated with the actors view.

procreative word
Concept in language development that is "loaded" by the right kind of fertilizing energy for the study area and for the knowledge creator's own development of procreative understanding: associated with the actors view.

rationalism
See the Appendix.

realism
A philosophical perspective, regarding reality as independent of human consciousness (opposite: idealism).

reconciliation
A process of getting two opposite thoughts/things to correspond in a knowledge-creating mode. Compare: complementarity and methodology of complementarity.

reductionism
A philosophical/scientific thought presuming that events and circumstances at a given level of nature or society can be explained at a lower level of nature or society, for instance, providing psychological explanations to sociological phenomena (opposite: holism).

reification
Looking at immaterial concepts such as being, having soul, etc. as concrete objects, that is, humans giving them characteristics as "mechanical" components and as such neglecting the fact that meanings and actions are made by people, mainly associated with the actors view.

relativism
A philosophical branch presuming that there are different, possibly self-contained, traditions, ethics, knowledge and ways of life, each to be judged only in accordance with its own arbitrary standard, dependent upon circumstances.

reliability
As a concept of quality assurance in knowledge creating and as a subcore element of crealiability it will signify different substances in relation to the various methodological views. (See "Measurement techniques and techniques for controlling reliability" in Chapter 7).

representative understanding
Understanding, which is seen as a depiction (map) of reality, where this reality is presumed to be factive; associated with the systems view (opposite: constitutive understanding).

self-reference
A phenomenon, according to the actors view, that exists between scientific results and the development of society. The social scientist will therefore always, when doing research, also research the influence of his/her own earlier results, without any possibility of clear-cut results. The existing social science knowledge representation of generality, normality, clichés, uniformity, etc. in individual human beings will always be there as an everyday reality.

sensemaking
See the Appendix

social construction (of reality)
A reality, which is built and rebuilt by its members in a dialectical process and does not exist independently of, or beyond, these members, including its knowledge creators; associated with the actors view.

social phenomenology
A critical synthesis, created by Schutz, of Husserl's phenomenology and Weber's thoughts about understanding; associated with the actors view.

stringency
A concept of quality assurance, according to knowledge-creating, including a degree of rigorous performance and standard of attainments. The quality of being stringent in the frame of a methodological view. The concept is an essential core element of the overall scientific concept, crealiability, for excellence in knowledge-creating work.

stringency of complementarity
A concept of quality assurance, according to knowledge creating of complementarity, including a degree of rigorous performance and standard of attainments. The quality of being stringent in the frame of the complementarity in question. The concept is an essential core element of the overall scientific concept, crealiability of complementarity, for excellence in knowledge-creating work.

structuralism
A philosophical branch, generally looking at the study area as patterned or, more specifically, derived from linguistics and applied to other fields, presuming that phenomena should be explained or understood in terms of invariant underlying structures of organization; associated with the systems view.

study area
The field of focus and interest in an effort to create knowledge.

subjectification
The process of consciousness by which we create and constitute ourselves as intentional subjects ("humans are a subjective reality"); associated with the actors view.

summative
Built up ceteris paribus, that is, the belief that any new finding when creating knowledge can be added to a previous finding without any complications or additions for the latter one; associated with the analytical view.

synergy
A principle that totality is presumed to be more or less than the sum of its parts; mainly associated with the systems view.

synthesis
The dialectical "end" of a process, where the first (thesis) has been contrasted by the second (antithesis), with the first inherent in itself, and at the "end" both the thesis and the antithesis have been moved up into a higher form, the synthesis; associated with the actors view.

systems approach
Systems view in application.

systems view
A methodology for creating knowledge, devoted to explaining and/or understanding reality, presumed to be built up holistically.

technique
Rules given a priori for using various tools to create knowledge in practice.

teleology
See finality

theory
A word with an unambiguous sense as well as an ambiguous one, depending on in which methodological view it appears and under which circumstances. In the former sense, for example: empirical (experiential) laws explaining regularities existing in objects and events of a study area; associated with the analytical view. In the latter sense: A set of assertions or main beliefs devised to explain and/or understand a set of facts or phenomena; associated with the systems view and the actors view.

thesis
The first dialectical element of a process, where this first (thesis) is going to be contrasted by the second (antithesis); associated with the actors view.

thematic language of methodology
A "neutral" language, developed in this book to bridge the problems of knowledge creation and knowledge quality between various contexts of research, consultation and/or investigation, containing: paradigm, ultimate presumption, factive reality, factified reality, methodological view/approach, operative paradigm, methodical procedure, methodics, method, technique, reconciliation, methodology of complementarity, base view, transformative operator, primary procedure, complementary procedure, study area, crealiability, and crealiability of complementarity.

totality
A world, presumed to be an entity, where the parts are more or less dependent on each other; mainly associated with the first guiding principle of the systems view.

transformative operation
The total amount of methodical procedures, primary as well as complementary, in connection with the methodics will form the operative paradigm, and the overall concept for all these operations in a methodology of complementary is thus transformative operations.

transformative operator
The concept for a methodological approach when acting as a base of complementarity for transformative operations.

typification
Describing our way of attaching various labels and typical designations to – and having different understandings of – the people and things around us. We expect, and then take for granted, that what is typified behaves according to the understanding mediated by the typification; associated with the actors view.

typified cases
Knowledge-illustrations with an ideal character describing various ideal states that "imaginatively" can reflect the potential, and thereby engage various actors in procreating dialogues in which the potential will be transformed into the factual, that is, into a new social reality. Typified cases, in spite of being ideal, have a strong connection to the "living" social reality.

ultimate presumption
Fundamental belief of reality and life (same as normative thesis), which cannot be empirically or logically tested, but which influences and steers each and every one of us when acting as knowledge creators.

understanding
Providing knowledge based on the creator of knowledge, attempting to gain a "deeper" knowledge of his/her study area, associated with the systems view in an understanding mode, or knowledge based on the actors denotation of conceptual meaning, associated with the actors view.

validity
As a concept of quality assurance in knowledge-creating and as a subcore element of crealiability, it will signify different substances in relation to the various methodological views. (See "Validation techniques" in Chapter 7).

verification
Confirmation in empirical reality of some conclusion derived in the theoretical reality; associated with the analytical view (opposite: falsification).

verstehen
See the Appendix.

view
See methodological view.

vivify
To give new energy to life, ennoble the values of life, provide reinforcement to what is unique; associated with the actors view.