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Chapter 13. Analyzing and Evaluating Thi... > Assessing Irrational Thinking in Org...

Assessing Irrational Thinking in Organizational Life

We all participate in life in a multi-dimensional way. We play many roles. We become involved in many groups, organizations, and institutions. For the most part, we act in settings in which critical thinking is not a basic value on the part of others. Often, we are dealing with people who are egocentric or irrational in various dimensions of their lives. Often, we are dealing with people who are striving for more power and are willing to sacrifice basic values to their short-term vested interest. Often, we are dealing with people who are easily threatened by thinking that differs from their own or with bureaucracies enveloped in red tape and disfunctional regulations or with people who are significantly self-deceived. Sometimes we are dealing with people who use critical thinking skills to obscure rather than reveal the truth and are principally focused on their own selfish advantage. Sometimes we may find ourselves working within an industry that has a negative effect on the quality of life in the community—e.g., the tobacco industry.

Nevertheless, it is in our long-term interest to develop as thinkers, to apply our best thinking in our lives, and to become lifelong learners. It is in all our interests that critical thinking becomes part of the culture of the organizational structures in society. The question is: “how can we use our thinking to best advantage in settings that often do not reward the best thinking and may at times punish it?”


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