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Researcher reflexivity: what it is and what it can be

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-03-24, 09:39 authored by Hugo Letiche
Purpose
Second-order cybernetics is explored here as a learning intervention strategy. Researcher reflexivity, both the student’s and the professor’s, that is asserted is crucial to achieving a liberatory learning experience. But as Lacan has revealed, the “symbolic” (written, represented and studied) has a complex relationship to the “real”, which needs the “imaginary” to be active and creative. The aim of this paper is to investigate the complexity of these relationships and their import for reflexive learning, as it is grounded in second-order cybernetics.

Design/methodology/approach
This is a conceptual paper, comparing second-order cybernetics to current insights into researcher reflexivity, especially as grounded in Lacan and as it has been translated into an intervention strategy by Zizek and applied by the author. Supervision of MBA theses is examined as an exemplar.

Findings
A theory of researcher reflexivity is outlined with practical potential, which was demonstrated at the ASC 2016 conference.

Research limitations/implications
Exemplary learning is demonstrated and guidelines of practical significance are indicated, but these are not here further empirically researched.

Practical implications
The complexity of the “imaginary–symbolic–real” model and its value for reflexive learning is investigated. The application value of the model to learning and second-order cybernetics is developed.

Social/implications
A reflexive intervention is demonstrated in how one sees student/professor supervision and interaction.

Originality/value
Building on Glanville, it is shown that multiple reflexivities are needed to be put into play for second-order cybernetics to productively inform university practice. A difference of differences is needed to complexify feedback processes for cybernetic interventions to (best) succeed. The import of current theoretical debates from Lacan and Zizek to cybernetics is indicated.

History

Citation

Kybernetes, Vol. 46 No. 9, pp. 1555-1563. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-09-2016-0239

Author affiliation

School of Business

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Kybernetes

Volume

46

Issue

9

Pagination

1555 - 1563

Publisher

Emerald

issn

0368-492X

Copyright date

2017

Publisher version

https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/K-09-2016-0239/full/html

Language

en

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