RTM: For and by Practitioners

By Euchner, James A. | Research-Technology Management, September-October 2009 | Go to article overview

RTM: For and by Practitioners


Euchner, James A., Research-Technology Management


"There is nothing so practical as a good theory."

--Kurt Lewin

I am pleased to assume the role of Editor in Chief of Research-Technology Management with this issue. As an industrial researcher and then manager of research and development organizations, I have found the focus of the journal on what works in practice to be consistently valuable. RTM is a publication for practitioners and by practitioners, and I think this is what has made it so valuable.

In 1983, the influential learning theorist, Donald Schon, published The Reflective Practitioner." How Professionals Think in Action. The book's title captures perfectly the spirit of RTM, which seeks to encourage in practitioners both active reflection on their experience and sharing of the experience with others. The sharing is crucial. In the words of John Seely Brown, formerly chief scientist of Xerox, "sense making and knowledge sharing cannot be separated." We learn not only by doing but by sharing.

In his book, Schon points out that practice, as a term, has two meanings. The first sense of the word relates to the performance of a profession: to doing something that is difficult and requires training and skill. People refer to the practice of law or to their engineering practice. The second sense refers to preparation for doing: to learning by engaging in an activity persistently, to preparing for performance. In this sense, practice implies experiencing some degree of failure: We hypothesize, we test, we fail, we learn, and we adapt.

Alas, this failure is still too rarely discussed in the annals of practitioner literature. I look forward to ferreting out descriptions of useful failures in the years ahead. (Those interested may want to re-read John Backus's piece in the July-August 1984 RTM entitled, "In Research, Failure Is the Partner of Success.")

Schon also challenges the usefulness of the still-dominant theory of the evolution of knowledge, what he calls the model of "technical rationality." This model assumes a hierarchy of knowledge that trickles down from academia to practice, a one-way flow in which theoretical knowledge is privileged. Schon's conviction is that deep knowledge is also derived from practice, and that this knowledge complements theory. He coined the term "reflection in action" to refer to an alternate model, one that acknowledges learning-while-doing and the bidirectional flow of knowledge. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

RTM: For and by Practitioners
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.