Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

demand-control theory

by • October 2nd, 2004

I attended part of Robyn’s workshop on observation supervision, and can see immediately why so many people have told me to check out her work. There are definitely many overlaps. 🙂
Demands are, simply, those tasks required of the job itself. Controls are the decisions one takes/makes to manage the delivery of these tasks.
Controls sound a lot like regulation in the Vygotskian sense (see previous post). Robyn described them as “decisions, actions, and attitudes – even recognizing a demand is a control” (not necessarily an exact quote, smile). There seems to be an implication that these controls are conscious? Since I don’t know the whole theory, I may be speculating way “out of turn” (surprise!), but it seems like putting the two approaches into dialogue with each other might be really productive. For instance, does demand-control theory itself recognize that some controls are unconscious (meaning habitual or reactive)?

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