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Title: A tri-modal theory of agency
Authors: Ghalamchi, Parastoo
Advisors: Khan, T
Keywords: Freedom;Affective, cognitive and conative modes of agency;Decision making;Capability approach;Weber's rationality types and bakhtin's dialogims
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: This study aims to determine the relationship between agency and freedom and it has developed a Tri-Modal Theory of Agency that explains an agent’s decisions with a focus on freedom. Here, based on Berlin’s (1958) ideas we have conceptualised positive and negative sides of freedom with a focus on agency. Meanwhile, agency is defined and measured in three following modes: (A) the conative mode is developed based on Sen’s (2007) capability approach, (B) the cognitive mode is conceptualised based on Weber’s (1993) rationality types and Bakhtin’s (1935) dialogism, and (C) the affective mode is developed based on Weiner’s (2010) attribution theory of emotion. A Tri-Modal Theory of Agency is tested and developed in five empirical studies that include 21 in-depth interviews, two surveys on career choice of 1063 employees and a university major selection of 4086 students in Iran, and finally the theory is applied to one case study that explains an entrepreneur’s agency-freedom relationship after a business failure. In summary, the Tri-Modal Theory of Agency establishes that freedom matters but having agency to give up freedom in pursuit of one’s values ought to be the primary aspiration. This study can be exploited in the field of social psychology, appraisal psychology and organisational behaviour to understand an agent’s decisions in a social context with a focus on her freedom.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University London.
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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