Critical Theory, Carl Jung, and Symbo-Construction in Soft Systems Rich Pictures

A Seminar for Reflective Practitioners
  • Mark Campbell Williams


SSM uses a technique of drawing pictorial metaphors termed ‘rich pictures’, to serve as aids in investigating ‘ill-defined, real-world’ problems (Hicks, 1994; Standing and Campbell Williams, 1993). Rich pictures often incorporate symbols or cartoon-like representations to point to key factors in the systems under investigation and to give a sense of the richness which seems to occur in most human situations. As I reported in an earlier paper (Campbell Williams, 1995b), I extend the idea of rich pictures to give pictorial metaphors. Although all metaphors have their limitations and can be confusing, I consider that they help me to convey the rich allusiveness, symbolism and sense of complexity in many human situations.


Critical Theory Open Discourse Instrumental Rationality Human Situation Rich Picture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adorno, T., and Horkheimer, M., (1992), The dialectic of enlightenment, Verso: London.Google Scholar
  2. Barry, D., (1996), Artful Inquiry: A Symbolic Constructivist Framework for Social Science Research, Qualitative Inquiry 2(4):411–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barry, D., (1994), Making the Invisible Visible: Using Analogically-based Methods to Surface Unconscious Processes in Organizations, Organizational Development Journal 12(4): 37–48.Google Scholar
  4. Bruner, J., (1990), Acts of meaning, Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  5. Campbell Williams, M., (1995), Using Soft Systems Rich Pictures in University Teaching-Learning, Proceeding of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Forum: February, 1995, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia.Google Scholar
  6. Dews, P., (Ed.), (1986). Habermas: Autonomy and solidarity, Verso, London.Google Scholar
  7. Dieckman, E. (1993). A procedural check for researcher bias in an ethnographic report. Research in Education, 50(11), pp. 1–4.Google Scholar
  8. Habermas, J., (1971), Towards a rational society, Heinemann: London.Google Scholar
  9. Habermas, J., (1972), Knowledge and human interests, Heinemann: London.Google Scholar
  10. Habermas, J., (1974), Theory and Practice. London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  11. Habermas, J., (1992), Postmetaphysical thinking. Polity Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  12. Held, D. (1980). Introduction to critical theory, Polity Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  13. Hicks, M., (1991). Problem Solving in Business and Management. Chapman and Hall: London.Google Scholar
  14. Johnson, R. A., (1986), Inner Work: Using dreams and active imagination for personal growth, HarperCollins: New York.Google Scholar
  15. Jung, C. G., (1989), Memories, dreams, reflections, Random House: New York.Google Scholar
  16. Marcuse, H., (1969), Eros and civilisation, Allen Lane the Penguin Press: London.Google Scholar
  17. Monick, E., (1987), Phallos: sacred image of the masculine, Inner City Books, Toronto.Google Scholar
  18. Moustakas, C., (1990), Heuristic research: Design, methodology and applications, Sage Publications: Newbury Park.Google Scholar
  19. O’Conner, P., (1993), The inner man: Men, myth and dreams, Pan Mcmillan: Sydney.Google Scholar
  20. Osborne, R., (1992), Philosophy for beginners, Writers and Readers Publishing: NY.Google Scholar
  21. Sanford, J., (1989), Dreams: God’s forgotten language, Harper and Row: New York.Google Scholar
  22. Segaller, S., and Berger, M., (1989), Jung: The wisdom of the dream, Weidenfeld and Nicholson: London.Google Scholar
  23. Standing, C., and Campbell-Williams, M., (1993), Methodogical pluralism in a rapidly changing IT environment, Conference Proceedings of the International Federation of Information Processing Professionals Conference: August 1993, Parmelia Hotel, Perth, Western Australia.Google Scholar
  24. Young, R., (1989), A critical theory of education: Habermas and our children’s future, Harvester Wheatsheaf: Hertfordshire, U.K.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Campbell Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Business Faculty, Management Information Systems SchoolEdith Cowan UniversityAustralia

Personalised recommendations