Theory in Unearthing the Mechanism Fishermen Use Article Critique

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¶ … Theory

In unearthing the mechanism fishermen use to make decisions in the risky venture of fishing the Dwyer & Minnegal (2006) engage a critical look at existing theory with the purpose of providing a new basis for explanation of the phenomenon. The authors engage in a skirmish with late modernity theorists Beck and Giddens on the sociological classification of some communities based on their division of labor. Within the work there is an anthropological challenge to the implications of the shift from "pre-modern" to "late modern" societies.

The major theory that employed in this work was the game theory. The game theory is often used in economics to explain risky behavior by players in the market and other areas. In this work game theory is foisted into use to explain decision making in biological and physical contexts. Additional use is made of game theory to explain the social interaction between the many actors on board the vessel.

The work is a qualitative piece employing what the author's call and ethno ecological approach. The ethno ecological approach fuses together elements of ethnography and uses them in a dominant ecological context. The ethno ecological approach attempts to get an insider's perspective of the issue and from that perspective construct an understanding of the phenomenon.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Article Critique on Theory in Unearthing the Mechanism Fishermen Use Assignment

The work presented a definite challenge to long existing understanding of some fundamental concerns. I however found that the authors did not do enough in the theoretical dimension to support adequately their position. In fact, they were forced to admit that while they take offense to the conflation of risk and uncertainty used by Beck and Giddens they were conceptually hard-pressed to provide a compelling solution. The data analysis provided some interesting findings that demonstrated the value of key management concepts. The work was interesting and I would not hesitate to impress others as to its value and insightful approach to a challenging subject.

Power and power relations within the social setting is the focus of this work by Emerson. Advancing a position that at the time of writing some elements of power were inadequately theorized, and that conceptualization of power was not far beyond the work of Weber. The author engages on the interesting mission of developing a simple theory of power that could be used to assess complex social structures and relations.

The author suggest that the common flaw in most conceptions of power is that power is treated as though it were an inherent quality of the individual or group. This conception of power ensures that research about power focus on the powerful and the mechanisms that they or their proxies used to acquire that power. The author divests his theoretical construct of many of the prevalent conceptions and variables associated with power because they are insufficiently abstract to be generally useful.

This conception of power anchors power in the dependency of others, power therefore is a function of the quantum of dependency between actors. Two critical hypotheses are developed for empirical testing. The "dependency of actor a upon B. is (1) directly proportional to a's motivational investment goals mediated by B, and (2) inversely proportional to the availability of those goals to a outside the a-B relationship. These hypotheses were later tested empirically and used to advance the understanding of group cohesion and the formation of norms.

This work was thoroughly engaging as it appeared to part company with prior research in the area and advances a new conception. The author however did not completely engage the concept of inequality, which may better explain the notion of dependence. So that the unequal distribution of desired resources may assist in advancing the discussion, further. Despite the minor omission of a thorough discussion on inequality, the article was compelling. The presentation of a new theoretical concept provided useful fuel for the intellectual fervor.

The term performance measurement is used to refer to the practice of everyday measurement of the inputs and outputs of programs within both the government and the private sector. This practice has grown rapidly over the years as there is an increased desire to provide data that assists in decision making and also that demonstrates the success of the program being implemented. While some of this pressure comes from the public, much of it comes from politicians and policy makers who need to justify expenditure.

Thus, the successful implementation of measurement approaches has become a burgeoning field of consideration for researchers and managers. The author demonstrated how the political context of decision-making creates unique pressures that are given priority of attention. Additional requirements may be made upon the manager from through the budgeting process where there are demands for evaluative information before additional funding is released. To provide balance to the presentation the reader is moved through a mosaic of challenges that threaten the measurement process within the government setting.

Newcomer (2006) makes a theoretical argument for the integration of program evaluation approaches to be included in any program measurement activity. The combination of these two approaches allows for better measurement and assessment. This approach leads to benefits for the budgeting process where budgeting can be linked more directly to performance. The methods that are used suggested by the author appear to be quantitative in the main and will allow the manager to create instruments that can be used across programs and provide valid and reliable measures.

While the language used in this work was clear, the discussion was a bit opaque. The author's theoretical position was not articulated in a succinct and lucid fashion and it required the reader to ferret out the intent of the author. The major strength of the work appeared to be the presentation of the possibilities available when evaluation and measurement are successfully integrated into a comprehensive whole.

This piece begins with an assessment of the state of research in the discipline. In a clear attempt to identify where the lacunae exist the authors emphases that from the literature it is clear that there is a technological determinant. The relationship between technology and organizational structure while still in its infancy in terms of articulation and explication is one that exists and merits measurement. One impediment for the smooth flow of analysis of the problem is the absence of a clear unit of analysis. The unit of analysis varies based on the theoretical posture adopted by the researcher.

Two dominant theoretical positions are articulated the first is that "modal technology is the most important structural determinant," in this case the unit of analysis would be the organization itself. The second position is that the "overall structure is affected less by technology and thus what should be considered is the sub-units." The research consequently, seeks to answer the question whether technology has a greater impact on managers as opposed to the structure itself and employs the "matrix" model of comparative assessment.

A survey method was used to gather data for this work and the data were subsequently analyzed using various statistical tools. This is essentially a quantitative method and employed a random sample design. This quantitative approach appears to be in harmony with the research since several testable propositions were created and the only method that could successfully test theory would be to use a method that would produce numbers for statistical testing and examination of relationships.

There was an excellent fit between the purpose of the researcher and the method chosen. The propositions identified by the researcher were natural outflows from the theoretical framework developed. If there is any critique it could be the failure to adequate discuss alternate positions and show the superiority of the researchers approach to those not employed. This work was highly enjoyable and is easily recommended to others.

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