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A QUANTITATIVE SYSTEM FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF INITIAL ORGANIZATIONAL NEEDS IN TRANSDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH

A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the College of Natural Science Michigan State University

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science

by

David Gordon Gossman

June 1979

CHAPTER VIII

SPECIALTY VOCABULARY DIFFERENCES

After the specialty philosophical differences have been determined, it is necessary to quantify specialty vocabulary differences. This step in the assessment of organizational needs is also one wherein a number of different methods might be developed. The method which has been chosen was done so primarily for convenience and in an otherwise arbitrary manner. It should provide an excellent focal point for further development.

The method parallels the previous chapter in that it uses the same texts for appropriate specialties. Instead of focusing on the content of the text, however, specialty vocabulary differences will be quantified by an analysis of the indices of the texts, or portions of texts that were used previously.

This index analysis is a simple measure of the correlation between one index and another in order to determine the specialty vocabulary difference. Given two specialties, A and B, the total number of indexed terms, from portions of the text used in the philosophical analysis, are counted. These variable will be referred to as Ta and Tb. The number of overlapping terms is then counted and referred to as TO. If the same term is used by both specialties but is defined in a radically different manner, it is not added to, but instead subtracted from, the other overlapping terms in determining TO.

Using this system, there will then be two values associated with the vocabulary difference. One is associated with information sent from specialist A to specialist B. The other is associated with information sent from B to A. The other is associated with information sent from B to A. In the first case, A to B, the formula is:

Vba = (Ta - TO)/Ta.

For the case of B to A, the formula is:

Vba = (Tb - TO)/Tb.

These values can also be placed in a matrix similar to the philosophical matrix as shown in Figure VIII-1. 

    R e c e i v e r
    A C D X
  A O VAB VAC VAD O
S

e

n

d

e

r

B VBA O VBC VBD O
C VCA VCB O VCD O
D VDA VDB VDC O O
  X O O O O O

Specialists A, B, C, and D;   R&D Manager X

FIGURE VIII-1 VOCABULARY MATRIX

Continue to Chapter IX