Title

Defining occupation: A move towards globalization and interdisciplinary partnerships.

Location

Hiawatha 2

Start Time

18-10-2014 11:40 AM

End Time

18-10-2014 12:10 PM

Session Type

Theoretical Paper

Abstract

Key words: Definition, Globalization, Collaboration

Background:

Many definitions and constructs of occupation have been conceptualized by advocators of Occupational Therapy, and with the inception of Occupational Science these discussions have continued to advance. While, some of the definitions and their implications have been contested by other scholars in the field it is important to acknowledge the differences and biases that have been witnessed. Many have debated on aspects such as activity vs. occupation, individualism vs. transactionalism, or hierarchy of occupational engagement. Such debates have helped to acknowledge the importance of an agreed upon definition or a construct.

Rationale and argument:

Defining a construct provides basis for identifying epistemology, knowledge production, and facilitating inter-disciplinary collaboration. Collaborative research, conceptualized as advancement of scientific inquiry through a process of working with other professionals, can promote globalization of knowledge. Also, collaborative or interdisciplinary research potentially involves innovative methodologies which require epistemological and/or philosophical harmony between the constructs or phenomena being studied. A clear understanding of the construct and/or definition of occupation might require lesser compromise from the occupational science researchers.

Having an agreed-upon construct will give occupational scientists and occupational therapy practitioners a tool to work with, a framework to work under and a construct to research upon. All these aspects are integral for both professional and educational progress. Experimentation, emphasizing causal relationships or generalizations, is one of the primary aspects of science. While carving our identity as occupational scientists it is important to note that science becomes a major responsibility. Therefore, this paper argues that having an agreed upon conceptual construct and/or a definition can further scientific research and facilitate globalization of occupational science.

Statement of Intent and Implications for Occupational Science:

Having different definitions of occupation and related debates have contributed to knowledge growth; however this leads to confusion when viewing it from larger (global and inter-disciplinary) perspectives. Occupational science, as a field of inquiry, can benefit from having an agreed upon definition and/or a conceptual construct. Especially for globalization, inter-disciplinary collaboration can be as beneficial as intra-disciplinary debates. This paper suggests forming an agreed upon construct including concepts which are widely accepted in the field with further research advancing the construct. Strategies such as survey research and card sorting can be used to formally form a construct under the guidance of experts from the field.

References

Dickie, V., Cutchin, M., & Humphry, R. (2006). Occupation as transactional experience: A critique of individualism in occupational science. Journal of Occupational Science, 13, 83-93.

Graham, O., Harnett, N., Harrison, E., & Considine, W. (1994). Collaborative research. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 26(2), 121-123.

Hocking, C. (2012). Occupations through the looking glass: Reflecting on occupational scientists’ ontological assumptions. In Whiteford, G., & Hocking, C. (Eds.). (2012). Occupational science society, inclusion, participation (8-19). West Sussix,UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Paley, J., Eva, G., & Duncan, E. (2006).In-order-to analysis: An alternative to classifying different levels of occupational activity. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69 (4), 161-168

Shadish, W. R., Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (2002). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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Oct 18th, 11:40 AM Oct 18th, 12:10 PM

Defining occupation: A move towards globalization and interdisciplinary partnerships.

Hiawatha 2

Key words: Definition, Globalization, Collaboration

Background:

Many definitions and constructs of occupation have been conceptualized by advocators of Occupational Therapy, and with the inception of Occupational Science these discussions have continued to advance. While, some of the definitions and their implications have been contested by other scholars in the field it is important to acknowledge the differences and biases that have been witnessed. Many have debated on aspects such as activity vs. occupation, individualism vs. transactionalism, or hierarchy of occupational engagement. Such debates have helped to acknowledge the importance of an agreed upon definition or a construct.

Rationale and argument:

Defining a construct provides basis for identifying epistemology, knowledge production, and facilitating inter-disciplinary collaboration. Collaborative research, conceptualized as advancement of scientific inquiry through a process of working with other professionals, can promote globalization of knowledge. Also, collaborative or interdisciplinary research potentially involves innovative methodologies which require epistemological and/or philosophical harmony between the constructs or phenomena being studied. A clear understanding of the construct and/or definition of occupation might require lesser compromise from the occupational science researchers.

Having an agreed-upon construct will give occupational scientists and occupational therapy practitioners a tool to work with, a framework to work under and a construct to research upon. All these aspects are integral for both professional and educational progress. Experimentation, emphasizing causal relationships or generalizations, is one of the primary aspects of science. While carving our identity as occupational scientists it is important to note that science becomes a major responsibility. Therefore, this paper argues that having an agreed upon conceptual construct and/or a definition can further scientific research and facilitate globalization of occupational science.

Statement of Intent and Implications for Occupational Science:

Having different definitions of occupation and related debates have contributed to knowledge growth; however this leads to confusion when viewing it from larger (global and inter-disciplinary) perspectives. Occupational science, as a field of inquiry, can benefit from having an agreed upon definition and/or a conceptual construct. Especially for globalization, inter-disciplinary collaboration can be as beneficial as intra-disciplinary debates. This paper suggests forming an agreed upon construct including concepts which are widely accepted in the field with further research advancing the construct. Strategies such as survey research and card sorting can be used to formally form a construct under the guidance of experts from the field.