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DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Correlating Academic Theory and Management

Written by: on March 15, 2015

Correlating Academic theory with Management

March 14, 15

In Caroline Ramsey’s two articles Provocative theory and a scholarship of practice and Narrative: From Learning in Reflection to Learning in Performance, I was able to learn that there are many things that go with learning. Some of the principles pointed out that were important to me were the correlation of context and interaction of academics and managers. “Concrete experience requires (tacit text – context relation) that there is a world in which there are events that are distinct from people as participants, creators and observers.”[1] It is so easy to group participants and observers together. I am finding out more in organizations that some people are not really concerned about your experience as they are about what context you are in.

In my learning experience in different Universities primarily at Biola University, it was important for us to practice relational learning in our Organizational Leadership Class. How we interacted with other with our different learning styles was important to our learning experience. We also determined leaders in groups by who would emerge as the leader. This relational was a type of provocative theory. “Provocative theory is a relational process rather than a type of academic thinking and is seen as a process whereby academic theory stimulates, incites and promotes changed practice as learning.”[2] I can fully understand this. I can see how academic theory stimulates in a group rather than the relational process. What we are learning I a group academically is the goal and the material presented to us is what promotes learning.

Although theory may be the job of academics, I have learned that it is important for those in management to understand the theory behind it. I don’t see myself as analytical all the time but understanding what is going on theory wise is still a responsibility of those in management as well as those in academia. We are responsible for understanding the theory behind what’s being taught as much as the performance of what is learned. I have seen myself more focused on the performance than the theoretical reflection. But as my one of my professor you to say, “your theory has to meet up with your practice and your practice has to meet up with your theory.” That in and of itself is a challenge at times but without theory and understanding what that is, you will always find it hard to fulfill the performance of it.

What I was really surprised at was understanding the relational perspective. “For this reason a relational treatment of learning must attend to a socially mindful process that emphasize performance, rather than description of and adaption to an experience.”[3] It always seemed to me that the experience was important just as the relational part of learning. How do you be socially minded without the experience? I just kind of questioned this but I might not be understanding it well! Nevertheless, as was said early I believe that theory and practice has a lot to do with how we learn and interact within an organization.

[1]             Caroline Ramsey, “Narrative: From Learning in Reflection to Learning in Performance,” Sage [May 18, 2005] 221.

[2]             Caroline Ramsey, “Provocative Theory and a Scholarship of Practice,” Sage [2011] 2.

[3]             Caroline Ramsey, “Narrative: From Learning in Reflection to Learning in Performance,” Sage [May 18, 2005] 223.

About the Author

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Travis Biglow

Pastor of Victory Empowerment Center. Regional Chaplain High Desert Regional Center Graduates Azusa Pacific University. Licensed General Contractor B. I am the married with one daughter, two grandsons and one step son.

8 responses to “Correlating Academic Theory and Management”

  1. Dawnel Volzke says:

    Nicely said – “I believe that theory and practice has a lot to do with how we learn and interact within an organization.” I can tell, from talking with you and your posts, that you have gained experience and wisdom as you’ve engaged with different types of organizations, projects, and people. As I look at the past 20 years of my own journey, I know that I’ve grown a lot from the journey itself. And, I also know that there is much more wisdom and knowledge that I have to collect as I journey forward. As you look at your own journey of growth, what would you say has been the most influential in helping you to gain practical intelligence and wisdom within your own management?

    • Travis Biglow says:

      Dawnel: Probabley my interaction of faith and leading in the church. I have found that learning is not always academic. You learn a lot from people who are not that academically inclined. I love the theory of learning because it puts names to things that might be hard to explain but in the church seeing your faith rewarded is a great thing. Learing from relation with God and people is the most intellectual and effective way for me to manage. Sometimes i dont have all the ducks lined up in the row, and God some how bless me to hit them

  2. Jon Spellman says:

    Travis, you said: “your theory has to meet up with your practice and your practice has to meet up with your theory.” Wise words! It’s reminiscent of the phrase “say what you’ll do and do what you say!” My theories should shape my practices and my practice should further shape what I believe to be true.

    Hey, I think you hit a different article than the rest of us! The one entitled “Narrative: From Learning in Reflection to Learning in Performance” sounds pretty interesting but I didn’t read it! ha!

    J

    • Travis Biglow says:

      I know Jon i just realized that while reading Phil’s. Yes theory and practice and do what you say are always a way to see things in the right perspective!

  3. Phillip Struckmeyer says:

    Travis, “Provocative theory is a relational process rather than a type of academic thinking and is seen as a process whereby academic theory stimulates, incites and promotes changed practice as learning.”[2] I think you captured the right sentence of bring clarity to the idea of Provocative theory. That article was a challenge to read. Dr. Ramsey is definitely brilliant and I think the effort to understand her research and writing was well worth it and pretty inspiring. Catch you tomorrow “in class.”

  4. mm Mary Pandiani says:

    You have such a unique situation, Travis, as a pastor who serves in an academic institution while also having a trade/business in construction. Talk about being someone who knows how practice and theory work together. And the part that I love is watching how you are integrating the two of them as you become more and more attentive to who you are.

    • Travis Biglow says:

      Thank you Mary, i have not built anything in construction since 2008. I have given myself to the ministry and studying in college. I am still a licensed contractor though and pray that one day i can do some building on the side. I have learned a lot from running a business since i was 28 years old. People matter no matter if you are paying them or not. I learned this at a young age. I am looking forward to a harvest one day in the ministry. God has blessed be to be the Chaplain of Azusa Pacific High Desert Regional Center and I feel that this going to be a great learning experience for me in leadership and spiritual direction!

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