Rev. Dr. Timothy Ewest, Associate Professor of Management, Prince-Chavanne Chair in Christian Business Ethics, and Chair of the Department of Management, Marketing and Business at Houston Christian University, presented at the Viktor Frankl World Congress, held on October 19-21.
Dr. Ewest’s presentation described one of the governing metanarratives within the Occidental world, referred to by Gabriel Marcel (1978) as “technique,” the intentional use of various theoretical methods that are broadly applied to humanity to ease the human condition. The presentation considered the effects of this narrative within economic and social life, specifically, the distancing of man from his work, replacing human interaction with technology, and marginalizing other innate values pertaining to connectedness to others. These divisions have been widely recognized by the academic guild with sociologists such as Putnam noting the degradation of society, Follett noting the Faustian Dilemma of the modern worker, the degradation of the environment as noted by Berry, and the distancing of the worker from their own thoughts, as demonstrated by the mindfulness movement.
The presentation gave focused consideration to Frankl’s comparative understanding of meaning against the alternative philosophies of Adler and Freud. The presentation considered three methods for career coaching which actualizes Frankl’s Socratic dialogue to help individuals find their vocational meaning and purpose. To this end, his presentation considered the history of narrative-based theories, as they emerged from structuralism, and the use and applications of narrative theory regarding career coaching. Numerous narrative-based approaches are used which include Tichy with leadership development and Blasi with the formation of personal moral identity. The presentation resolves by suggesting ways in which these understandings can be developed by presenting a research agenda regarding the exploration of methodologies of Career Coaching as demonstrated in the seminal work of Drake and Reissner.
For more information, visit ViktorFranklinInstitute.org.