Annals of the University of Oradea: Economic Science (Jul 2011)



Journal volume & issue
Vol. 1, no. 1
pp. 807 – 813


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In this paper I explore the phenomenon of personal development in an unconventional way. The contribution of this paper is to use a different method (i.e. in depth interviews) to focus on a different unit of analysis (i.e. managerial couples) in a different context. In addition the information and communication technologies (IT'C) are entering all the fields: business, state institutions, education and the day-by-day life. This paper contributes to the field by suggesting a different theoretical approach to personal development conflict as a decision-making problem. I propose using social exchange theory to explain personal development conflict as a complex evaluation of cost and benefits of exchanges between multiple actors on the basis of personal values and beliefs. The critical thinking is one of the most popular learning objects in the English speaking countries and they are also offering most of hopes to distance learning and also the critical thinking is a reflective one. This paper suggests that the field may be overlooking some fundamental variables. Content analysis of the interview transcripts reveals the crucial importance of implicit values and benefits, immanent or tacit actions such as decision-making and learning and communication and mutual understanding. Communication and personal development is essential in this respect. It's difficult to separate work, family and personal development and communication is fundamental in all directions. To conceptualize personal development conflict as a decision-making problem while taking into account exchanges and interactions between multiple actors and we can draw on equity theory or social exchange theory. Future research should test whether decision making is central for the understanding of personal conflict only in managers or in other collectives as well. I recommend the couple as the best unit of analysis to address issues such as accommodation within couples and complex decision- making in both individuals and couples. Future research should draw on boarder and different samples to replicate our study and check the generalizability of its findings - because if it can be generalized it may have strong implication for theoretical development.