Saturday, January 06, 2007

Strange Career Move 2

The other day I commented on Negroponte's strange career move. This has also prompted comment on the Duck of Minerva blog. Rodger Payne recalls a previous instance in which Negroponte left a high-status job for an apparently lower-status role sorting out Iraq.

Repetition is a strong clue in a POSIWID world. Whenever something happens more than one, this is an indication that there is some system at work - although it isn't always clear which system it is.

The Duck of Minerva focuses on International Relations and Foreign Policy, and seem to operate a political worldview that seeks to explain motivation in terms of status and influence. But there are alternative worldviews, from which we can see other possible motives for someone getting involved in Iraq at this time.

An economist might observe that there is a lot more loose money sloshing around Iraq than in the uptight bureaucracies of New York and Washington. Some people are motivated by the opportunity to get their hands on some extra cash, and other people are motivated by righteous indignation and the desire to expose corruption.

An organizational theorist might comment on the dysfunctional and frustrating nature of certain institutions, and express surprise that any normal person would ever choose to work in them, regardless of the status. And there is sometimes more autonomy (= job satisfaction?) at the edge of an organization than in the centre.

And a psychologist might cite Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - self-actualization is higher than esteem.

So there are many different ways of accounting for a single event - different effects therefore different purposes.

Wikipedia: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
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