Summary On the basis of a wide‐ranging literature search, this paper reviews and compares the use of concept sorting and concept mapping in business and public administration, and in education. Usage in education is distinguished by stress on the nature of relationships between concepts and the variety of uses to which concept mapping is applied. In contrast, usage in business and public administration is concentrated on group decision‐making and planning. In education concept sorting and mapping are used for assessment and evaluation, for enhancing of learning, as well as for decision‐making and planning. Use of concept maps in education is further distinguished by stress on the processes involved, on the nature of the relationships between concepts, and is subject to more critical evaluation and, in some measure, is grounded in learning theory.

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