Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Posts Tagged ‘action inquiry’

Listening into the Dark: An Essay Testing the Validity and Efficacy of Collaborative Developmental Action Inquiry for Describing and Encouraging Transformations of Self, Society, and Scientific Inquiry

William R. Torbert

Abstract: Collaborative Developmental Action Inquiry (CDAI) is introduced as a meta-paradigmatic approach to social science and social action that encompasses seven other more familiar paradigms (e.g., Behaviorism, Empirical Positivism, and Postmodern Interpretivism) and that triangulates among third-person, objectivity-seeking social scientific inquiry, second-person, transformational, mutuality-seeking political inquiry, and first-person, adult, spiritual inquiry and consciousness development in the emerging present. CDAI tests findings, not only against third-person criteria of validity as do quantitative, positivist studies and qualitative, interpretive studies, but also against first- and second-person criteria of validity, as well as criteria of efficacy in action. CDAI introduces the possibility of treating, not just formal third-person studies, but any and all activities in one’s daily life in an inquiring manner. The aim of this differently-scientific approach is not only theoretical, generalizable knowledge, but also knowledge that generates increasingly timely action in particular cases in the relationships that mean the most to the inquirer. To illustrate and explain why the CDAI approach can explain unusually high percentages of the variance in whether or not organizations actually transform, all three types of validity-testing are applied to a specific study of intended transformation in ten organizations. The ten organization study found that adding together the performance of each organization’s CEO and lead consultant pn a reliable, well-validated measure of developmental action-logic, predicted 59% of the variance, beyond the .01 level, in whether and how the organization transformed (as rated by three scorers who achieved between .90 and 1.0 reliability). The essay concludes with a comparison between the Empirical Positivist paradigm of inquiry and the Collaborative Developmental Action Inquiry paradigm.

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The Power of Balance: Transforming Self, Society, and Scientific Inquiry

William R. Torbert

Abstract: The “power of balance” as conceived by Torbert represents an integral paradigm of principles, theory, and praxis. Deployed, the paradigm is one that can indeed inform and shape the development of self, society, and scientific inquiry. To explicate that fulsome vision, the book’s fifteen chapters develop the themes of three sections: Theory and Strategy, Heart and Practice, and Vision and Method. Here, we have excerpted from several chapters in Theory and Strategy, and from one chapter in Vision and Method.

This means, of course, that we present but a small fraction of this integral classic, leaving out all of the rich, in-depth illustrations, including the author’s learning practice as he first attempted to enact the principles.

Yet, we hope even this abbreviated form of The Power of Balance supports at least two goals: to offer deployable insights and practices for developing politics and the political; and to take root as part of a foundational canon for integral political thought, research, and praxis. How we readers deploy these principles in our own actions will determine the degree to which self, society, and scientific inquiry transform.

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More Perspectives, New Politics, New Life: How a Small Group Used The Integral Process For Working On Complex Issues

Sara Ross

Abstract: This article reports on a small research project with citizens who wanted to address their community’s chronically adversarial behaviors and atmosphere. It complements a longer research report on the same project, which is also published in this issue of Integral Review. The project used a structured public discourse process, The Integral Process For Working On Complex Issues (TIP). This article supplies background on TIP’s origins, then focuses on two areas. First, it explains the process steps used in the project in conjunction with the issue that participants developed by using them. Second, using examples from participants’ experiences of transformative impacts from their work in the project, it reports on two themes that underlie the main impacts and outcomes. The group worked on an issue about how its own intentions and tones needed to be chosen carefully if participants wanted to improve the adversarial local culture. The article includes links to “products” the group created in the course of its work. The themes were about dissolving “us versus them” mindsets and behaviors, and the liberation of being able to use multiple perspectives (as compared to only one point of view). This article is aimed at a diverse audience of individuals and organizations interested in promoting healthy individual and social change by addressing complex public issues and relationships. A brief epilogue sketches how TIP embeds criteria of integral theory.

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Perspectives On Troubled Interactions: What Happened When A Small Group Began To Address Its Community’s Adversarial Political Culture

Sara Ross

Abstract: This study investigated fostering political development (as defined in the report) through an integration of adult development, public issues analysis, and structured public discourse. Entitled The Integral Process For Working On Complex Issues, that multi-session discourse methodology includes issue analysis and framing, deliberation, and organizing systemic action. Its issue-framing template helps users generate multiple approaches to issues that reflect different levels of complexity and incorporate the conceivable human and institutional perspectives and environmental life conditions. The small group used the discourse process to select a public issue of concern and to begin to address it. It was about how to change the community’s adversarial political culture. They conducted a deliberative action inquiry into their own tones and intentions toward that issue as the starting point to address it, and did deliberative decision-making on that basis. The political reasoning and culture of the group developed during the study, evidenced by the group’s work and changes that participants experienced. The study is the first of its kind in several respects, which are: (a) to use this public discourse process as part of the research methodology, (b) to perform this kind of empirical research on public discourse and deliberation, and (c) to foster political and adult development while addressing complex issues. This extended length research report departs from traditional journal article formats not only by its length but also by integrating its report of findings with analyses of the processes that resulted in the findings. It is complemented by a shorter article in this issue of Integral Review, which describes the steps of the process and the major themes evident in participants’ experience.

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