Seeking conceptual anchors I've often thought of Hodges' model as a rich picture. Reading to complete my latest module and add to the threshold concepts draft I came across:
Berg, T., Pooley, R. (2013) Contemporary Iconography for Rich Picture Construction. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 30, 31–42. doi:10.1002/sres.2121
There are several points with implications for h2cm and future work. From the abstract:
The RP is a diagrammatic means of identifying differing world views with the aim of creating shared understanding of the organization. The RP has predominately been used as a freeform, unstructured tool with no commonly agreed syntax.
Our research suggests that the RP requires structure to become a contemporary knowledge elicitation device. p.31.The application of rich picture is quite specific within soft systems methodology [SSM], but there is much to learn here. Let's use the abstract as a template:
Hodges' model could be a diagrammatic means of identifying differing personal care needs, with the aim of creating shared understanding of person-centred care aims and co-created health literacy which whenever possible includes the patient and carer.
Hodges' model provides a structure but one that is nonetheless freeform. You could say the coastline is mapped, but only to a degree. I have already likened Hodges' model to a cognitive periplus. A coastline is clearly definable: initially (it is also fractal). For a ship as in years of yore where can it go? Can it turn inland, to new discoveries (and disciplines)? Is this an estuary with a navigable river? Can the ship find a way out to a new sea through this strait? Even if the ship hugs the coast navigating potentially treacherous waters when newly found? Does this flexibility in Hodges' model arise because it is in effect templatized (axialised)? I have often wondered about my concluding that the user of Hodges' model wants to have their cake and eat it too. By this I mean h2cm is simplistic and so it is dismissed by many, but it can serve complex purposes once populated. By deriving the care domains from the structure, h2cm provides conceptual spaces within which users can orchestrate the concepts pertaining to a particular situation, or context.
Back to paper: there is no syntax as yet since there are no designated icons for Hodges' model. There are many sources and libraries including possibly a subset of RPs, the Noun Project too.
Berg and Pooley write that: RP requires structure to become a contemporary knowledge elicitation device. There is a problem here in what we mean by contemporary, given how long RPs have been around. Of course the same applies to h2cm, hence my efforts. Can we, dare we be more ambitious?
From the paper itself:
This holistic methodology [SSM] uses the rich picture (RP)... p.31Hodges' model is a holistic methodology that combines threshold concepts, conceptual spaces...!?
More specifically Berg and Pooley write:
Avison and Fitzgerald propose that there is an unwillingness to engage in the rather lengthy requirement gathering process of the RPs and further suggest that management want to avoid political issues that could arise. In certain hierarchal organizations, it is suggested that the RP does not appear ‘business like’, and there is a lack of credibility with the approach (Daellenbach, 1994). p.32.Judging from the graphics in the paper much of the 'political' may be interpersonal-relationships, but this will inevitably also refer to interdepartmental and interdisciplinary wrangling. Hodges' model gets# politics. H2CM includes into its structure a POLITICAL domain. If we expand Berg and Pooley's observation could this account in part for the failure of so many IT projects and the need for socio-technical approaches? Computers feature quite highly as one of the most repeated icons in RPs (graph on p.35). There is also a striking similarity between Hodges' model and RP in the simplicity I referred to previously. Within the 'organization' and the hierarchy (even if levelled to pubescent bumps) there remains a need for efficiency (accounting for time), formality and being 'business-like'.
I suspect that for some people, depictions of RPs and Hodges' model are fine on the training room flipchart paper. Once the turn-is-given and the evidence is there to see on the A1 page then to expect more: time for drawing, reflecting, concept mapping, meeting of hearts and minds, problem solving... is a stretch of credibility for some. It may be that as Berg and Pooley do not refer to vocabulary, so often this is the stumbling block as there is no shared vocabulary. It may be close, but differences remain and technology waits for no organization.
Hodges' model attests that meaning comes from several sources and we need to listen in quadrophonic at least, and all before any pencil is licked.
Students (and others) can get political as an activist; be that as a critical thinker, advocating for healthcare, or within union and professional bodies.
Shaw, Mildred L.G., & Gaines, Brian R. (1989) Comparing conceptual structures: Consensus, conflict, correspondence and contrast. Knowledge Acquisition, 1(4), 341-363.
The SSM - RPs community should look f/w with relish to the advent of VR. This can surely overcome many of the difficulties highlighted in Berg and Pooley (2013) and address the point above about contemporaneity. Icons will be ready-to-hand (gesture, look, thought!...): the challenge then becomes shared VR, but then this is central to its purpose.