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Theoretical and methodological foundations and conceptual approaches in diagnosis

The need for diagnostic research increases in crisis and transitional states of society, when variability and inconsistency in all spheres of life is intensified. Therefore, the most relevant for science are situations of the emergence of new social phenomena, the processes of self-organization and self-determination of both society and man, the problems of interiorization and intercommunicativeness of culture and society, their dynamic diversity, as well as everything related to the subjective representation of a person that forms a more organized and sustainable life and at the same time changing his personality in the process of life.

The methodology for studying these changes should simultaneously include both diagnoses of the state, i.e., adequate operational scientific reflection, as well as the development of forecasts, modeling of change processes and transformative activity.

The emergence of diagnostics from the very beginning was based on the scientific method and attached great importance to both the methods of studying practice and its theoretical and methodological substantiation.

In a general sense, diagnostics (from the Greek. Diagnostikos - capable of recognizing) is a scientific system about the principles and methods of recognition in a diverse unit, the allocation of these unit phenomena in a particular class. In the theoretical and methodological sense, diagnostics is a special kind of cognition, located between genuine knowledge of the essence and features of the life process and recognition of a single phenomenon and problem situations.

Summarizing the various considerations of diagnostics in the natural, social and human sciences, we single out the following specific approaches in diagnostics: substantive, problematic, situational, and systemic-genetic.

The substantive approach to diagnosis is a continuation of the development of the natural scientific (positivist) methodology, its projection on the social reality under study:

- a look at the object of study through the prism of this science;

- consideration of the object of study as independently existing from the subject of knowledge (activity), functioning and developing according to its own laws, regardless of the specialization of perception by its subjects;

- recognition of the fundamental possibility of identifying and describing the objective properties of the studied object;

- recognition of the fundamental possibility to recreate an object in conceptual models and theoretical schemes;

- the adoption of the traditional subjective-objective logic of cognition and practical activity, the desire to distance oneself from the studied object;

- the desire for maximum rigor of the initial conceptual schemes, maximum formalization, algorithmization of cognitive and transformative processes, orientation on the use of objective criteria for checking the initial conceptual schemes.

The development of effective means of “substantive” diagnostics is based on:

- the development of conceptual and empirical model ideas about the reality being studied;

-logical support of concepts, indicators, indicators;

- the development of the logical, methodological and methodological side of the diagnosis.

The main disadvantages of the "objective approach" in the diagnosis:

- the fundamental impossibility of constructing accurate models of the studied object of any class;

- the complexity of the transition from theoretical concepts to empirical indicators and indicators;

- the complexity of the conceptual and empirical description of a holistic object in separate indicators;

- the difficulty of choosing the criteria for the adequacy of conceptual and empirical constructions;

- the problem of the transition from speculative descriptions to the reconstruction of the model of practical activity.

The problematic approach to diagnosis

The main scope of its application is the sphere of organizational and managerial activity. Theoretical and methodological base: theories of social organizations, management theories, game design, game modeling, group problem solving technology, etc.

Key starting points:

- recognition of the need to describe the object as relevant, included in a specific activity;

- consideration of the activity in which the object is included, as conscious and aimed at achieving goals;

- consideration of the state of the object in the context of the problems that managers have regarding the goal achievement and reducing the meaning of management to overcoming emerging problems on the way to the goal;

- an anthropomorphic image of objects of organization and management, implying their consideration as a collective personified subject pursuing its goals and interests and consisting of a group and individual individuals occupying certain positions;

- the actual rejection of the view on scientific-cognitive and practically transformative activity as something insoluble: shifting the emphasis from predicting the behavior or properties of an object to the design of these properties;

- shifting the emphasis in diagnostics from a description of objective properties to a description of problems that arise in the activities of an individual or group;

- reduction of the main problems of organization and management to the harmonization of conventional representations of reality, as well as the elimination of problems arising in the way of their achievement and development of means to achieve goals and forms of joint activity;

- highlighting as the main problems in the typology - problems of the organization of interaction and communication;

- reducing the meaning of describing the state of an object to identifying problems that arise in an individual, group, organization, and identifying the most significant problems that can be solved from the point of view of the managing subject.

The specificity of the problematic approach is that the diagnostician not only does not distance himself from the object being studied, but also involves key figures of the organization in this process, trying to include them in active positions. That is, the object of the diagnosis is not organizations, but people.

Situational approach to diagnosis.

The key point of the situational approach is to consider the management process as a continuous goal of unique situations that arise in the process of solving problems or achieving new goals.

In the situational approach, two directions are distinguished:

- practical situational (diagnostics in the sense of a variety of specific personnel tasks);

- problem-situational - identifying the list and hierarchy of problems is the essence of diagnostics: when a new non-traditional management goal is set, upon reaching which a number of unforeseen obstacles and problems may arise. As a source of their occurrence, conflicts of goals, interests, positional orientations of various participants in the interaction in an organization are usually considered.

The diagnostic procedure is usually based on the analysis of documents, statistics, observation, interviews, on the basis of which a list of problems is identified. The diagnostic goal is considered to be achieved if the list of problems that actually arose or could arise in the organization is identified, structured, hierarchized in importance, a key problem is identified, directions and ways to solve them are outlined.

The advantage of the situational approach in diagnosis is the reflection of the unique and specific features of the diagnosed object and the specifics of managerial situations. Postulating the need to consider an object in the context of a unique combination of many real and significant factors that form a unique situation, interpreting the uniqueness of a situation as reality that arises in an existing object, are the most important characteristics of a diagnostic object in this (situational) approach.

Disadvantages of the approach:

- the situation is considered as a discrete, rather than a continuous process, which obscures the typical, characteristic for a whole class of objects operating in similar conditions;

- Diagnostics becomes a technology that only a professional can work with, i.e.
to. its procedures are difficult to standardize, unify and, therefore, use to solve problems in other organizational and management systems.

The system-genetic approach to diagnosis is essentially organizational-ecological. As possible objects of diagnosis are considered social integrity, included in a focused activity within the framework of the existing division of labor, fragments of the environment, nature. The objects of this diagnosis cannot be represented by artificial, teleologically programmed and discrete-rational (design) concepts. This approach uses the idea of ​​them as sociocultural systems, where development is understood as a natural, evolutionary, phased process associated with the development of sociocultural patterns of activity and interaction, which provides the best conditions for functioning compared to the previous phase in dynamically changing external conditions.

The advantage of this approach. Diagnostic objects are dynamic sociocultural systems immersed in a heterogeneous and mobile social environment, gradually developing in interaction with it on the basis of internal logic. Such a look at the object already sets certain boundaries on the choice of the management strategy of the object - local implementation, organizational design.

The disadvantages of the approach are complexity, multifactoriality and multifunctionality of both sociocultural systems and natural and environmental ones; the mechanisms of their functioning in crisis and transitional states of society are not well understood, and perhaps, in principle, cannot be fully understood. The ability to predict (diagnose) their behavior, even in specific situations, is limited, defined as probabilistic.

The diagnosis involves a comparison, as a result of which a conclusion is made about the state of the object and the process of its change.

The definition of the state involves the introduction of a certain standard (norm), a comparison with which makes the evaluation procedure possible. The value-normative approach to setting the standard is based on rational classical and normative management models that offer the best condition for the organization (its constituent elements). The essence of the normative approach in diagnostics boils down to the fact that a group of managed objects (person, team, organization) is directly set as a management guide and a criterion for evaluating a system of indicators characterizing their normative or final target state.

The latter can be determined either on the basis of the adoption of value and social ideals, or on the basis of theoretical and conceptual constructions. This indicator acts as a guide or imperative, mandatory.

The normative approach provides a clear definition of the parameters of the object, characterizing its final state, set as socially desirable. Comparison of the assessment of the real state of the object with the desired one for the same specific set of indicators (most often formalized) determines the diagnostic result. A given standard is a model of ideal representations of an object, sometimes adjusted for the real possibility of achieving this ideal.

The procedure for setting the desired state can be the result of a survey of experts, conceptual constructions, a projection of a norm already established by a higher organization.

Ensuring a socially desirable state (ideal) is considered as a mechanism for the development of the diagnosed object.

Assessment of the condition of the object depends on the classification of diagnostic tools for various reasons.

According to the typology of objects. An assessment of the state of any object is made provided that any of these objects should be considered as integral and included in the context of organizational and managerial activities.

According to the degree of formalization, they can be divided into strictly algorithmic methods, where the diagnostic results depend little on the personality of the performers, as well as partially and weakly algorithmized.

By the degree of concreteness of the tasks to be solved, diagnostic tools are divided into special tools created for a specific task; complex diagnostic tools used, as a rule, in a full diagnostic examination of an object.

The following areas of management are distinguished:

- Diagnostic tools focused on solving organizational changes, tasks of selection, placement, promotion, staff formation;

- classification of diagnostic tools for strategic management objectives (development, operation, reform of the organization).

According to the source and methods of obtaining information about the state of the object - this refers to statistical, documentary, objective, subjective, questioning, non-questioning, mixed sources of information.

According to the used theoretical, methodological and conceptual grounds, the subject, problem, situational, and system-genetic approaches are distinguished in diagnostics.

According to the type of problem situations, a concrete historical problem situation, a social-group or institutional, local life situation is distinguished.

The concrete historical problem situation is determined by the economic level of society and the corresponding structure of social relations, refracted in social psychology, in the practical consciousness of representatives of different groups and layers, thereby determining the most fundamental and regular socio-economic, political, socio-cultural, socio-psychological processes , regardless of the circumstances in which the life of groups, layers and individuals. In a concrete historical situation, a person acts as a member of society and as a citizen.

A social-group or institutional problem situation corresponds to those conditions and the organization of life, which over time have a direct impact on the content and structure of life of representatives of different communities and groups.

The local life situation corresponds to the personal level of life; it consists of psychophysiological, socio-psychological, cultural and educational factors of the life of the individual.

Summing up the foregoing, we distinguish three types of diagnosis.

The diagnosis establishing the deviation of the object from the norm. As such a norm, acmeology offers: professiograms, psychograms, acmeograms, reference, ideal (sample, model) ideas about the subject of activity.

A diagnosis that determines whether an object belongs to a particular class, type, or group.

A diagnosis that describes an object as a unique state of signs, i.e., its specific features.

As a rule, the diagnosis has a complex form and includes all three types of diagnosis.
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Theoretical and methodological foundations and conceptual approaches in diagnosis

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