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Polarity: configuration-relationships


Distinguishing Emergent Conceptual Polarities: experimental ordering of a collection of research papers (Part #5)


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Configuration (pattern) -- Relationships (networks)

Configuration: Distinct from the preoccupation with organization in isolation, or the relationships between entities, has been a focus on how the relationships between distinct entities may be configured (Implementing Principles by Balancing Configurations of Functions: a tensegrity organization approach, 1979; Groupware Configurations of Challenge and Harmony: an alternative approach to alternative organization, 1979; Development beyond Science to Wisdom: Facilitating the emergence of configurative understanding, 1979; Guiding Metaphors and Configuring Choices, 1991; Using Disagreements for Superordinate Frame Configuration, 1992; Configuring Strategic Dilemmas in Intersectoral Dialogue, 1992; Spherical Configuration of Categories to Reflect Systemic Patterns of Environmental Checks and Balances, 1994). This concern with configuration relates to the identification of pattern.

A long-term concern has been the catalyzation of new patterns of conceptual (Patterns of Conceptual Integration, 1984; 1981, 1980) or social interaction (1992), notably in conferences (1984, 1988), with values (1980), and change itself (Patterning Transformative Change: dialogue, vision, conference, policy, network, community and lifestyle, 1983).

More recently this has focused on comprehension of subtler and unforeseen forms of order (Spherical configuration of interlocking roundtables: Internet enhancement of global self-organization through patterns of dialogue, 1998; Discovering richer patterns of comprehension to reframe polarization, 1998; ; Knowledge Gardening through Music, 2000 (Hyperspace Clues to the Psychology of the Pattern that Connects, 2003; Patterning Archetypal Templates of Emergent Order, 2002; Complementary Patterns of Meaningful Truth and the Interface between Alternative Variants, 2003).
Relationships: Initially this focused on the relationships between international NGOs and the intergovernmental system (Summary of the Crises in Inter-Organizational Relationships at the International Level, 1971; Next Step in Inter-organizational Relationships: Specific proposals, 1971; Inter-organizational relationships: in search of a new style, 1973). This focus was extended to concepts (Relationship Between Elements of Knowledge: use of computer systems to facilitate construction, comprehension and comparison of the concept thesauri of different schools of thought, 1971 *) and then further extended to a variety of conceptual entities (International Agencies and Associations: interrelationships and links to world problems, disciplines, occupations, treaties, 1976 *), including personal relationships (1978).

This concerned changed to include the representation of relationships (The Territory Construed as the Map: in search of radical design innovations in the representation of human activities and their relationships, 1979; Atlas of International Relationship Networks, 1988), typologies (Towards a general typology of relationships (between people, concepts, etc), 1990), their articulation to form patterns, as in the case of the I Ching (1983), and their visualization (Visualizing Relationship Networks: International, Interdisciplinary, Intersectoral, 1992).

A particular concern has been with reframing understanding of relationships (Reframing Relationships as a Mathematical Challenge: Jerusalem as a Parody of Current Interfaith Dialogue, 1997; Reframing Personal Relationships between Innovators or Leaders, 1998; Interrelationships between 64 Complementary Approaches to Sustainable Development, 2002; Dancing on Terra -- with Terror: Disciplines reframing terrifying relationships, 2004).

As noted above, a particular interest has been the possibilities beyond inter-organizational and other networks (1973, 1977, 1979), of networking alternation (1983), and tensegrity ("tensional integrity") structures (1978, 1979, 1984).

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