The Role of Abductive Reasoning in Conversation Design

By Joy Benson and Sally Dresdow.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 20, 2016 $US5.00

Students frequently say that the problem in a case or discussion of a current business issue is communication. Yet, when asked to justify this, they state facts or their assumptions as cause-and-effect. They do not bring a depth to their understanding of the complexity of communication among individuals as they attempt to create situational understanding. In the authors’ experiences, this response stems from two issues. First, communication is frequently presented as a linear model and does not incorporate conversation. Second, business students are skilled in inductive/deductive reasoning, convergent thinking, and data-based analysis but are less skilled in other thinking approaches. This article conceptually discusses how abductive reasoning and design tools may strengthen students’ skill sets in addressing the complexity of the contextual, emotional, and behavioral spaces of conversation.

Keywords: Pedagogical Theory, Design Thinking, Abductive Thinking

The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 24, Issue 1, March 2017, pp.27-39. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 20, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 388.219KB)).

Dr. Joy Benson

Professor, College of Business and Economics, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

Dr. Sally Dresdow

Assistant Professor, College of Technology, Engineering and Management, University of Wisconsin Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin, USA