Frequently Asked Questions about Context Recognition Theory.

Answers to common question about CRT from author Morgan Goodlander.

Q1) How scientific is CRT?

Q1) The validity test for CRT goes directly to the question of effectiveness. Effective application equals validity. The question is always does X aspect of the theory fit into an effective framework for working with context as it arises in people and organizations? If the answer is a resounding yes, then it is included. At the point it is clear that some part of the theory can’t orient us in terms of practical application then it will be excluded and dropped.

CRT is a working theory. It is not a theory that is attempting to prove the existence of context as a scientific fact. That being said, CRT is heavily informed by and scientific research and stays within the general scientific mindset.

Q2) It seems that some of the nomenclature of CRT has changed. I have read papers from different times that use different words to describe the same thing?

Q2) That has happened once or twice, but for the most part the idea is to keep CRT as consistent as possible over time. To the extent that CRT is a language for describing context dynamics, label consistency is important. CRT has a basic approach that centers around the distinction of “situation” vs. “context” if you see that changing then CRT will be morphing into something else.

Q3) How definitive is the book Context Recognition Theory: Foundations and Applications?

Q3) It is very definitive in terms of the basic approach and the scope of inquiry. However, I hope it represents the first words in CRT and not the last. It is really the test of time that will tell if it has legs beyond a selective group of practitioners.

Q4) Who did you write CRT for?

Q4) I wrote it for intelligent high-functioning professionals who work in organizations and realize that context is important, but really don’t know what it is or how to leverage it. Context is a word that educated people realize has value, but don’t know how to use effectively. In fact, in many organizations it leads to the “Pandora’s box” phenomena or the genie that escapes from the bottle that no one can get it back in. Context is like the “pithos” from the Greek myth. If you open it up, you can get more than you bargained for. Yes, context is about an expansion of attention, but it can just as easily be applied to narrowing attention to the task at hand.