A psychology professor in the UK recently described a problem of “low adoption” to characterize a world of academe in which theories abound, and proposals for applying theory proliferate in the form of off-campus consulting, but self-adoption of their proposed instrumentalities ultimately fails. Why is that? One esteemed sociologist is quoted in TheSociologicalProblem.com as follows:
“Sociology…is only beginning to learn how to make proper use of its material, which is being agglomerated at a tremendous rate. While many older sociologists on a slender foundation of fact built imposing speculative constructions, which crumbled down before they were finished, we are heaping up mountains of raw stuff and barely manage to raise on top of them small and unsightly shreds of timid theory. We dignify this procedure by ascribing it to scientific circumspection, whereas in most cases it is nothing but plain incapacity to do any better.” — (Prof. Florian Znaniecki, 1934)
When academics propose corporate interventions, should the first question be, “Has your university (or any other) adopted your intervention?” Shouldn’t one expect to see the strongest evidence of its efficacy, proof of concept, in the very organization in which those same academicians are so highly esteemed?
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