Summarize The Concept Of Contextualization And Explain Its Significance.

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Summarize the concept of contextualization and explain its significance

Summarize the concept of contextualization and explain its significance


Context and its relevance to theory, methodology, analysis and findings have been and continue to be discussed in relation to various fields and bodies of knowledge. A discipline that has traditionally been very strong in examining and explaining the impact of context on the phenomena under investigation is Psychology. For instance, the examination of the occurrence of typical emotions is impossible without examining the situations in which these emotions arise and occur. When psychologists examine how gender operates in organizations, they typically connect individual difference variables to organizational context features. Psychology studies are compelling in explaining how contextual cues influence dependent phenomena and in the way they employ contextual salience to understand the essence and dynamics of these phenomena. In Anthropology the dependent variables are typically contextual phenomena, without a thorough understanding of which no explanation is possible, regardless of the paradigms, assumptions and objectives followed. Ever since Malinowski, anthropologists have chanted the mantra of “placing social and cultural phenomena in a context” (Dilley, 1999, p. 1), an analytical strategy adopted to make authentic sense of ethnographic material. Communication Studies, too, has shown that organizational discourse has very little meaning outside its context and that to understand the meaning of any discourse, one must theorize about both the discourse's possibility and the circumstances of its constitution (Sillince, 2007). Bamberger, 2008 P. Bamberger, Beyond contextualization: Using context theories to narrow the micro-macro gap in management research, Academy of Management Journal 51 (5) (2008), pp. 839-846.

Bamberger (2008) qualified Management scholars' interest in context and the ability to give greater consideration to its role as first efforts to “generate nothing short of a revolution in management theory” (p. 839). Strategic Management scholars have also joined the conversation. In a preface to a special issue on understanding context in this field McKiernan (2006a, p. 5) concluded that “much research remains to be done before a body of knowledge can be promulgated to the point at which contextual issues become integral to each strategy process. But of context, content, and culture, there is a sense here that the greatest source of inspiration may be context”. In another piece McKiernan (2006b, p. 19) pointed out that while “contexts have changed markedly in recent years […] their treatment has wandered between prominence and obscurity in the literature”.


The word context us is of Latin origin and means “to join together”, “to knit together” or “to make a connection” (Rousseau & Fried, 2001). The Oxford English Dictionary (2008) defines the term as (1) the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea; (2) the parts that precede and follow a word or passage and fix its precise meaning. To take something 'out of context' leads to misunderstanding. In linguistics, context refers to how readers can infer the meaning of a passage by referring to its intra-textual clues; something which transcends ...
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