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Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 2 September 2022
McQuitty Causal Path Analysis
This article is a necessary preliminary to the articles which follow and define organisational thermometers. An organisational thermometer is a tool to measure staff satisfaction in any largish enterprise in an ongoing way. The article is also related to all the Fred Emery associated articles, two of which precede it. These are 1 Causal Texture Paper and 2 the Search Conference.
- My background with Fred Emery and in statistics
- A general overview of statistical analysis
- Fred Emery’s consulting work for TIHR on consumer products
- McQuitty causal path analysis and how to do it explained
- Examples of McQuitty causal paths or roadmaps
1 My Background
I was finishing up my PhD in Zoology at ANU at the time and was slightly dissatisfied with some aspects of inattentive reductionism in science at the time. When I discovered Fred’s ideas on systems thinking, it was as if I’d suddenly discovered what I was looking for and had to pursue it.
I got into Fred’s theoretical ideas and search conferencing quite quickly, which annoyed at least one person on the CCE staff. I became quite conversant with Fred’s theoretical ideas and reasonably competent at running search conferences in the next 18 months or so.
I left CCE in the second half of 1980 on a prestigious Leverhulme Vice Chancellor’s Fellowship in Continuing Education to the New University of Ulster’s continuing education annex in Derry.
Chris Duke the Director had obtained the Fellowship for me, for which I had no academic qualifications (which everyone knew). I had a terrific time in Northern Ireland in attempting community action research, despite the troubles re-emerging at the end of my time there. At the same time I also followed up on Fred’s work at the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations (TIHR).
On my way home, I was the guest of Einar Thorsrud at the Work Research Institutes in Oslo in Norway for two months, spent a couple of weeks with academics in Sweden and camped for two-and-a-half months with Rukmini Rao and peripherally PECCE (Public Enterprises Centre for Continuing Education) in New Delhi, India.
Sadly, because of my interest in Fred Emery, I was on the wrong side fence for Chris Duke (which I regretted), and a persona non grata on my return to CCE though granted a visiting fellowship for several months (no resources and no money).
Fred’s own senior fellowship was not renewed by ANU in 1979 and he became an independent scholar from then on at his home in Cook, ACT. (Although he still had full access and privileges at the ANU library.)
If the word statistics brings you out in a cold sweat just read slowly, there are no formulas or anything difficult below, just a story.
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Written partly whilst quarantined with Covid 19, published in Canberra