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The Unbounded MindBreaking the Chains of Traditional Business Thinking$
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Ian I. Mitroff and Harold A. Linstone

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195102888

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195102888.001.0001

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Conflict: The Fourth Way of Knowing

Conflict: The Fourth Way of Knowing

(p.69) CHAPTER 5 Conflict: The Fourth Way of Knowing
The Unbounded Mind



Oxford University Press

The concept of the Dialectic or the necessity of conflict in analyzing important problems is described in this chapter. It focuses on the use of the Dialectic as a practical decision tool rather than as an abstract idea. The authors contend that the ability to examine complex situations from a dialectical perspective is a critical analytic ability for problem-solvers to master. The case of the U.S. auto industry as a natural dialectic is explored. In the Dialectic IS, the purpose of data is not to settle issues, but rather to surface the intense differences in background assumptions between two or more divergent positions. Further, the guarantor of this system is conflict. In this system, something is “objective” if and only if it is the product or the result of an intense debate between two polarized positions.

Keywords:   Dialectic IS, conflict, U.S. auto industry, decision tool, problem-solvers, dialectic, knowing, debate

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