It probably comes as no surprise that software engineers think differently than human resources professionals (or, for that matter, that doctors think differently than lawyers, etc.). What may be surprising, however, is how these differences manifest in how professional groups think and act. The mental models held by professionals underwrite how groups make sense of concepts as diverse as organizational change, business strategy, people or organizations.
This study represents a pilot project of David’s PhD dissertation. His research involves detailed analyses of conceptual metaphor to reveal the structure – rather than just the content – of the thinking of these two groups. By better understanding the depth and extent to which cognitive structure differs by professional/occupational group, more insightful conceptions of organizations and organizational culture are possible, with many exciting new possibilities for organizational change and development using the notion of shared mental models as both a system/group diagnostic as well as a tool for action.
For more information on the agenda and conference, please see http://sphs.info/.