Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘development’

Strategy as Emergence: Reviewing the Practice Turn in Social, Organizational and Leadership Studies from an Integral Perspective

Elke Fein

Abstract: Practice perspectives are increasingly popular in many social sciences. Moreover, the practice turn (PT) has gained influence across various disciplines as a novel epistemological and research perspective. It claims to be able to better explain the workings of social action, among them leadership phenomena in organizations, due to a detailed look onto the micro level. Due to their focus and epistemology, they also claim to be able to better describe and analyze the complexity of social action than more traditional individualistic or institutional approaches. This paper therefore takes a closer look at some of the epistemological claims made by practice perspectives, based on integral epistemological concepts and tools. It proposes a selective discussion of the PT’s genuine epistemological value, as well as potential shortcomings, blind spots and limitations.

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Wise Ways of Seeing: Wisdom and Perspectives

Roger Walsh

Abstract: The capacity for perspective taking is thought to be linked to psychological development and to wisdom. This article draws from psychological, contemplative, cross-cultural, and philosophical disciplines to create an inventory of perspectival skills and their possible relationships to wisdom. The nature of perspectives is explored, as are the characteristics of healthy perspectives, and the factors—such as developmental stage, assumptions, and state of mind—that determine the number and kinds of available perspectives. The article then examines rare postconventional perspectival capacities such as the ability to integrate multiple perspectives, to adopt higher order metaperspectives, and to experience transperspectival “pure awareness.” Fifteen kinds of wise perspectives and perspectival skills are suggested. Finally, the article reviews psychological, relational, contemplative, philosophical, and educational methods thought to foster perspectival skills and wisdom.

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Adult Development Theory and Political Analysis: An Integral Account of Social and Political Change in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia

Elke Fein

Abstract: I propose a reading of social, political and discursive change in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia which is inspired by an integral, above all developmental perspective. In view of explaining Russia’s current political trajectory, I make several arguments. First, I claim that Russian politics are still to a large extent determined by the effects of a threefold crisis of sense-making. Neither the collapse of the Soviet empire, nor the question of how to define democratic government nor the lack of a resilient national identity have so far been resolved and re-appropriated in a transformative manner. Second, I try to show how this affects various aspects and dimensions of Russian politics. Third, I engage in a brief overview of a number of adult development models, asking to what extent and how the characteristics of consciousness development, particular stage characteristics, and the general logics and dynamics of successful and unsuccessful development these models describe can be helpful to the analysis of Russian politics. Also, I discuss their compatibility and parallels with discourse theory and analysis as an increasingly popular methodology in Russian Studies. Of the developmental models reviewed, the theory of political development by Stephen Chilton and the self-protective action logic in Susanne Cook-Greuter’s model of self and identity development are particularly relevant for my purpose. On these grounds, it is argued that since Vladimir Putin’s taking office as Russian president and later prime-minister, politics and (official) political discourse have increasingly come to follow self-protective action logics as conceived by Susanne Cook-Greuter. This diagnosis, which could either be understood as a regression or as a realignment of internal and external dimensions of political development, can be explained as a reaction to Russia’s crisis of identity followed by a loss of internal stability and international influence connected to the dislocations mentioned above.

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The Development of Dialectical Thinking As An Approach to Integration

Michael Basseches

Abstract: This article offers a description of dialectical thinking as a psychological phenomenon that reflects adult intellectual development. While relating this psychological phenomenon to the various dialectical philosophical perspectives from which the description is derived, the article conceptualizes dialectical thinking as a form of organization of thought, various aspects of which can be identified in individual adults’ approaches to conceptualizing a range of problems, rather than as one particular stream of intellectual history. The article provides a range of examples of dialectical analyses, contrasting them with more formalistic analyses, in order to convey the power, adequacy, and significance of dialectical thinking for the sorts of challenges that this journal embraces. It suggests that events in all areas of life demand recognition of the limitations of closed-system approaches to analysis. Approaches based instead on the organizing principle of dialectic integrate dimensions of contradiction, change and system-transformation over time in a way that supports people’s adaptation when structures under girding their sense of self/world coherence are challenged. Higher education and psychotherapy are considered as examples of potential contexts for adult intellectual development, and the conditions that foster such development in these contexts are discussed. The article as a whole makes the case for consciously attempting to foster such development in all our work as an approach to integration.

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What’s Integral about Leadership? A Reflection on Leadership and Integral Theory

Jonathan Reams

Abstract: This article provides an introduction to the idea of integral leadership. It describes the basic premises of integral theory, focusing on the four quadrants, levels or stages of development, and lines or streams of development. It briefly examines the relationship of consciousness to leadership, and then provides an overview of the history of leadership theory from an integral perspective. It then suggests a distinction between an integrally informed approach to leadership and integral leadership, and closes with questions deserving further inquiry.

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