The purpose of the Structure of Concern Project is to enlist your help in answering a question: what is the structure of concern? By "structure of concern", I refer to a pattern of four interlocking constraints. This wiki showcases many, many examples of the structure of concern. However, I put forward these examples without having a definitive description or explanation for this pattern. This wiki puts out a challenge to other thinkers in the world to help me characterize this broadly pervasive pattern.
One way to start thinking about the structure of concern is to think about models of personality types. There are many models of personality types, and a great many of them divide human personality into four types or four patterns. If you are familiar with some of these models, you may have noticed that they are all quite similar to each other in some fundamental way. This wiki collects together several such models of personality types, as well as models from other psychological, social, physical and biological sciences, as well as the arts. My question, to myself and to anyone reading these words, is how exactly do these patterns resemble each other? How should this underlying similarity be described?
By exploring the links on this site, you can slowly build up your sense of the structure of concern, and maybe you will then develop some ideas about what it actually is, at its root. If you prefer to read online documentation, you can get this same kind of catalogue of compatative models in a book I have written which can be downloaded for free at my Lulu.com storefront. Print copies of the book can be purchased from there as well.
Grounds for Comparison: the Adizes Methodology
In order to compare a large number of models to each other, some common frame of reference is required. We need labels for highlighting points of similarity across models. The reference model for my work is the Adizes Methodology - a management intervention methodology that helps organizations reach and remain in optimal condition. The letters PAEI are labels for each quadrant of the concern structure model in the Adizes Methodology.
Adizes uses PAEI in many ways - as a model of personality styles, as a description of the functional tasks of organizational management, as labels for the dynamics of development in an organizational lifecycle model and as a general goal landscape for organic systems. This multivalent use of the concern structure model in the Adizes Methodology makes it an accommodating frame of reference for comparing many different models at differing levels of description. If you want to get the most out of this wiki, I suggest reading the parts about the Adizes Methodology and PAEI first.
The Concern Structure Model Collection
The models on this wiki are listed in a subject index where they are clustered by topic, and at some point in the near future, I will add an alphabetical index by authors' family names. Both of these indexes are accessible throughout the site using the top navigation menu. New models are added to this collection from time to time, as they are discovered. My hope is that if you notice any new concern structure models in your readings that are not on this site, you will use the contact link (also on the top menu) to let me know about them, and I will add them to the site and credit you as a contributor, if you would like that.
While there is no definitive explanation of the structure of concern to date, I do have some guesses about where the answers might potentially lie. My guesses draw upon frameworks from theoretical ecology such as population/community dynamics and hierarchy theory. A few stubs and forays into this realm of possible explanation are listed here.
Even if we can explain the structure of concern, so what? What follows that explanation? What would such an explanation allow us to do? I speculate on these and other related matters here.
Participating in this Project
At present this is a private wiki project, though that may change in the future. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to contribute to the project, and I will see what I can do abou accommodating your input.
Link to the Old Welcome Page from the original Wikidot boilerplate.