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ERIC Number: ED293418
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Reframing and the Liberal Arts: Creative Decision-Making in the Global Marketplace. Working Paper/3.
Barnett, Steve
In order to understand creative decisionmaking in the rapidly changing global marketplace, business executives must view, interpret, and analyze events with new vision. A framework for understanding old thought patterns is provided along with suggestions on ways in which the humanities and social sciences (and other liberal arts) can help the business executive with creative reframing. More and more difficult decisionmaking in nontraditional arenas is required in the global marketplace, and the background of a liberal arts education can be helpful because it includes a variety of esthetic, historical, and cross-cultural insights. A mind-set found in many business executives includes the following assumptions: a knowable reality that can be understood in terms directly applicable to product development and positioning (with economics and human needs the two primary aspects); a causal and linear model as a template for action; a predictable future; and the ability to make rational decisions and be judged on the rightness or wrongness of these decisions. There are problems with each of these assumptions because the marketplace is moving inexorably away from a single-focus mind-set. Reframing includes underlying dimensions. For business decision-makers, it suggests that reality is not absolute, that reframing is the way paradigms change, that the ability to reframe can be taught, and that creating alternate futures based on different paradigms is central to long-term planning. Models then become metaphors for one frame, not approximations of a final, knowable reality. Three corporate case studies (Colgate-Palmolive soap paste in Latin America, the Volva workplace, and Rural/Dutch/Shell economic forecasting) using the alternate mind-set are discussed. The importance of a liberal arts education is stressed. (SM)
Corporate Council on the Liberal Arts, Working Paper Series, 33 West 42 Street, Box 765, New York, NY 10036 ($2.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Corporate Council on the Liberal Arts, New York, NY.
Note: One in a series of policy statements on the relationship between liberal education and careers in business.