Paradigm Theory



  1. a set of forms all of which contain a particular element, especially the set of all inflected forms based on a single stem or theme.
  2. a display in fixed arrangement of such a set, as boy, boy’s, boys, boys’.
  3. an example serving as a model; pattern. Synonyms: mold, standard; ideal, paragon, touchstone.
  4. a framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology that are commonly accepted by members of a scientific community.
  5. such a cognitive framework shared by members of any discipline or group: the company’s business paradigm.

I got on the trail of researching paradigms when I watched a lecture by Philips Design VP Paul Gardien. They have a paper out about how changing paradigms in business, change basic assumptions and business models. From a commodity model in the industrial era, to the experience economy today, which is already shifting to a new paradigm: the knowledge economy, where people network with their peers to come to decisions about their life, instead of relying on brand promises. Continue reading



  1. having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience,etc., for some purpose; properly qualified: He is perfectly competent to manage the bank branch.
  2. adequate but not exceptional.
  3. Law: (of a witness, a party to a contract, etc.) having legal competence.
  4. Geology: (of a bed or stratum) able to undergo folding without flowage or change in thickness.
Why did I look this up? Sometimes a word is so often used out of its proper context, that it starts to lose meaning. For me, this happened with the word ‘competent’. At the TU/e, skills are ‘competencies’, learning is ‘competency development’. It is overused and overvalued, like it should be a goal to be a competent person. Actually, ‘competent’ means just enough, suitable, you’ll do. You’re OK but nothing more. Why should we strive for that?