All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Evolution, Exchange and Coordination: Implications for Organizational Communication
Unformatted Document Text:  Evolution, Exchange and Coordination 23 Rigorous Testing One of the greatest criticisms leveled at evolutionary scholarship is that it involves ‘story telling’ (e.g., see Gould & Lewontin, 1979), or that it makes predictions about human behavior after the fact (i.e., ‘retrofitting’ the claims to support the data) (Wright, 1994). While it is certainly true that it is not possible to empirically falsify theories about the origin of human behavior, unlike paleontologists who must construct theories based on data from the past, our ‘fossil record’ is very much alive. It consists of the recordable consistent patterns of behavior that primates and humans all over the world exhibit. We can document their ‘consistent’ behaviors and activities across time and geographic space, and falsify theories about them that draw on an assumptive past (Wright, 1994). Empirical evidence for the clusters of human psychological adaptations reviewed in this paper is mounting. In fact, entire journals now act as outlets for research tying psychological adaptations to human behavior (e.g., Evolution and Human Behavior). Illustrative of the rigorous work being conducted by evolutionary scholars is the ingenious experiment by Cosmides (1989; see also Cosmides and Tooby, 1992) to find evidence of exchange ‘hard-wiring.’ In that study, the authors examined humans’ ability to solve logical problems in both abstract form, and when posed in terms of social contract violations. Subjects’ performance increased dramatically in the latter case, leading the authors to conclude that human beings reason, very much in terms of exchange. 9 Universality of Adaptive Mechanisms The adaptive mechanisms that we have reviewed in this paper (e.g., reciprocal altruism) are human universals (Brown, 1991; Foa et. al., 1993; Berg & Wiebe, 1993; Converse & Foa, 1993; Wilson & Keil, 1999; Wright, 1994, 2000) and are found in other primate groups as well (e.g. see DeWaal, 1998). On the other hand, emotions related to these adaptations appear to be pan human too. Ekman’s (1973) work on universal nonverbal expressions certainly suggested as much, but evolution and natural selection were not really favored in the social sciences as explanatory mechanisms for human behavior forty years ago, and Ekman struggled for some time to see his work gain respectability. Currently there seems to be little reason to ignore the plethora of work pointing to the ‘psychic unity of humankind.’ However, despite research suggesting that humans are actually more similar than they are different, communication scholars persist in focusing upon differences. In the fields of cross-cultural psychology and communication alone, scholarship continues to produce lists of dimensions around which cultures and ethnic groups can be found to vary (e.g., Hofstede, 1997; Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 1998). Recently, Stohl’s (2001) review of the literature on the globalization of organizational communication expands on the traditional cultural difference classification systems by proposing five organizing themes around which cultures seem to diverge. In addition though, Stohl (2001) highlights the importance of convergence processes. However, it is on converging organizational forms that she draws our attention, not on the similarities that bind us as a species (e.g., see Buss, 1989, 1994). There is now evidence to

Authors: Teboul, JC. Bruno. and Cole, Tim.
first   previous   Page 24 of 38   next   last



background image
Evolution, Exchange and Coordination
23
Rigorous Testing
One of the greatest criticisms leveled at evolutionary scholarship is that it involves ‘story telling’
(e.g., see Gould & Lewontin, 1979), or that it makes predictions about human behavior after the fact (i.e.,
‘retrofitting’ the claims to support the data) (Wright, 1994). While it is certainly true that it is not possible
to empirically falsify theories about the origin of human behavior, unlike paleontologists who must
construct theories based on data from the past, our ‘fossil record’ is very much alive. It consists of the
recordable consistent patterns of behavior that primates and humans all over the world exhibit. We can
document their ‘consistent’ behaviors and activities across time and geographic space, and falsify theories
about them that draw on an assumptive past (Wright, 1994). Empirical evidence for the clusters of human
psychological adaptations reviewed in this paper is mounting.
In fact, entire journals now act as outlets for
research tying psychological adaptations to human behavior (e.g., Evolution and Human Behavior).
Illustrative of the rigorous work being conducted by evolutionary scholars is the ingenious experiment by
Cosmides (1989; see also Cosmides and Tooby, 1992) to find evidence of exchange ‘hard-wiring.’ In that
study, the authors examined humans’ ability to solve logical problems in both abstract form, and when
posed in terms of social contract violations. Subjects’ performance increased dramatically in the latter
case, leading the authors to conclude that human beings reason, very much in terms of exchange.
9
Universality of Adaptive Mechanisms
The adaptive mechanisms that we have reviewed in this paper (e.g., reciprocal altruism) are
human universals (Brown, 1991; Foa et. al., 1993; Berg & Wiebe, 1993; Converse & Foa, 1993; Wilson
& Keil, 1999; Wright, 1994, 2000) and are found in other primate groups as well (e.g. see DeWaal,
1998). On the other hand, emotions related to these adaptations appear to be pan human too. Ekman’s
(1973) work on universal nonverbal expressions certainly suggested as much, but evolution and natural
selection were not really favored in the social sciences as explanatory mechanisms for human behavior
forty years ago, and Ekman struggled for some time to see his work gain respectability. Currently there
seems to be little reason to ignore the plethora of work pointing to the ‘psychic unity of humankind.’
However, despite research suggesting that humans are actually more similar than they are different,
communication scholars persist in focusing upon differences. In the fields of cross-cultural psychology
and communication alone, scholarship continues to produce lists of dimensions around which cultures
and ethnic groups can be found to vary (e.g., Hofstede, 1997; Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 1998).
Recently, Stohl’s (2001) review of the literature on the globalization of organizational communication
expands on the traditional cultural difference classification systems by proposing five organizing themes
around which cultures seem to diverge. In addition though, Stohl (2001) highlights the importance of
convergence processes. However, it is on converging organizational forms that she draws our attention,
not on the similarities that bind us as a species (e.g., see Buss, 1989, 1994). There is now evidence to


Convention
All Academic Convention makes running your annual conference simple and cost effective. It is your online solution for abstract management, peer review, and scheduling for your annual meeting or convention.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 24 of 38   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.