Often managers rely on their own experience, intuition, or authority to make decisions about new contexts they are unfamiliar with. This is reasonable considering this is all they have to go on. However, this can often prove to be expensive and time consuming as they go through a series of trial and error attempts to solve a problem. Academic research is one way to save time and money because researchers have already tested various relationships across multiple contexts to see what works and when. Of the four methods of knowing listed in Chapter 1, the method of science is the most rigorous and generalized to other settings.
For this discussion you will describe the concepts of theory and correlation using non-workplace examples. First, provide an example of two things that tend to be correlated with one another but do not actually influence each other (i.e., increase or decrease in one does not affect the other). Use any non-workplace example you choose. Briefly explain why they are correlated but have no influence on one another.
Second, develop a basic theory for how something works. You can do this for any non-workplace example you can imagine. For example, you may create a basic model of how your child decides whether or not they want to cooperate with your request. Your theory should include variables (e.g., amount of time since the child last ate) and some visual (i.e., theory diagram) and/or written description of how these variables are connected and influence each other. In the child example a variable such as “nature of request” (e.g., bed time) may be influenced by “physical location” (e.g., home, grandparents’, etc.). Use your imagination and have fun with it.