Factor Theory

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Factor Theory


a term traditionally applied to any sociological theory that attempts to attribute changes in a society to the influence of some phenomenon regarded as the sole factor determining the changes.

The history of social thought contains many examples of this type of explanation for the mechanism of development of a society. Thus, attempts have been made at theories based, for example, on geographic, demographic, psychological, and, in the late 19th century, technological determinism. Every such attempt, however, led to what G. V. Plekhanov called a vicious circle of interaction: the phenomenon used as a factor was a consequence of some other factor or factors before it became a cause (see On the Question of the Development of the Monistic View of History, ch. 2).

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a number of bourgeois sociologists, such as M. Weber and M. M. Kovalevskii, improperly portrayed Marxism as a single-factor theory based on economic determinism. In place of Marxism, as they saw it, these sociologists offered various multiple-factor theories, according to which the development of a society is determined by the simultaneous action of, for example, economic, demographic, religious, and psychological factors. Such a position leads to eclecticism and the mechanical joining of various factors.

K. Marx, F. Engels, and V. I. Lenin rejected the branding of Marxism as economic determinism. In their view, to represent Marxism in this way is to vulgarize it. Marxism regards society as a developing system and describes the entire process “in its totality (and therefore, too, the reciprocal action of its various sides on one another)” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 3, p. 37). In this process of development the mode of production plays a decisive role.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
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Ryoo, "An empirical investigation of end-users' switching toward cloud computing: a two factor theory perspective," Computers in Human Behavior, vol.
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Determinants of business student satisfaction and retention in higher education: Applying Herzberg's two factor theory. International Journal of Educational Management, 19(2), 128-139.
The study also aimed to highlight the motivating factors for the teachers and implication of Maslow's need hierarchy and Herzberg's two factor theory on teachers at higher education level in Pakistan.
As we noted, our results may be explained within the context of the Five Factor Theory of Personality (McCrae & Costa, 1999, 2008), with the basic tendency of conscientiousness influencing a common characteristic adaptation to task engagement, namely avoidance.
The objective is to initiate re- conceptualization of the differences between union loyalty and union commitment by revisiting Gordon's Four Factor Theory of Commitment and Hirschman's Exit--Voice Loyalty Theory.