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BAD - Bricolage Affordances Distribution#

See also: bricolage, affordances, distribution, casa, ateleogical-versus-teleological

See bad_set-casa-gather-weave for an attempt to bring together the BAD/SET, CASA, and Gather/Weave mini-theories.


One part of the BAD/SET framework a way of conceptualising observations of what happens in organisations. Initially observed in the context of learning and teaching within higher education (Jones & Clark, 2014).

Originally described in (Jones & Clark, 2014) using the following table with the following explanation

The frameworks described here are important because they identify a mindset (the SET framework) that contributes significantly to the on-going difficulty in bridging the e-learning reality/rhetoric chasm, and offers an alternate mindset (the BAD framework) that provides principles that can help bridge the chasm. The SET and BAD frameworks are broadly incommensurable ways of answering three important, inter-related questions about the implementation of e-learning. While the SET framework represents the most commonly accepted mindset used in practice, both frameworks are evident in both the literature and in practice.

Question SET BAD
What work gets done? Strategy – following a global plan intended to achieve a pre-identified desired future state. Bricolage – local piecemeal action responding to emerging contingencies.
How ICT is perceived? Established – ICT is a hard technology and cannot be changed. People and their practices must be modified to fit the fixed functionality of the technology. Affordances – ICT is a soft technology that can be modified to meet the needs of its users, their context, and what they would like to achieve.
How you see the world? Tree-like – the world is relatively stable and predictable. It can be understood through logical decomposition into a hierarchy of distinct black boxes. Distributed – the world is complex, dynamic, and consists of interdependent assemblages of diverse actors (human and not) connected via complex networks.


Jones, D., & Clark, D. (2014). Breaking BAD to bridge the reality/rhetoric chasm. In B. Hegarty, J. McDonald, & S.-K. Loke (Eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE 2014). University of Southern Queensland.