Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Integrating Conceptions of Human Progress

Rick Szostak

Abstract: This paper applies interdisciplinary techniques toward the investigation of the idea of human progress. It argues that progress needs to be considered with respect to an ethical evaluation of a host of different phenomena. Some of these have displayed progress in human history, others regress, and still others neither. It is argued that it is possible to achieve progress on all fronts in the future, but only if we engage constructively with the true complexity of the world we inhabit. Classification is seen as a critical complement to interdisciplinary analysis.

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Strategy as Metatheory

Alan E. Singer

Abstract: Business strategy or strategic management is a subject that has comprised a major part of the curriculum in business schools around the World for at least 40 years. It is routinely described as “integrative,” yet has arguably remained somewhat limited in its scope and philosophy. The purpose of this paper is to expand the scope of strategic management accordingly (to include ethics for example) but to do this in a way that arguably offers efficient insights to students and practitioners. The approach involves bringing together several formal metatheories while at the same time indicating how each of them can function as an integrative theory of strategy.

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The Ethics of Promoting and Assigning Adult Developmental Exercises: A Critical Analysis of the Immunity to Change Process

Sofia Kjellström

Abstract: The Immunity to Change (ITC) process devised by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey is promoted as an influential technique for creating individual and organizational change. A critical analysis of the ITC process applied in university settings and organizational contexts show that an unintended result is the unwillingness and inability of some participants to participate adequately. Significant theoretical and ethical implications arise in the interplay between three interrelated variables (a) the role and competence of the facilitator, (b) expectations and capabilities of the participants, and (c) the mental demands and assumptions of the process. The inquiry illustrate that the ITC process is probably built upon an implicit assumption that change into greater mental complexity is always good and right, and its inherent structure creates demands that can put participants “in over their heads.” The main conclusion is that developmentallyaware, ethical approaches to using transformational practices such as the ITC should meet at least three demands: they should be conducted as voluntary activities on the part of well-informed participants, they should integrate an adult developmental perspective into the process itself, and they should openly allow the possibility that it is theorganizations that may also need to change.

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Collaborative Knowledge Building and Integral Theory: On Perspectives, Uncertainty, and Mutual Regard

Tom Murray

Abstract: Uncertainty in knowing and communicating affect all aspects of modern life. Ubiquitous and inevitable uncertainty, including ambiguity and paradox, is particularly salient and important in knowledge building communities. Because knowledge building communities represent and evolve knowledge explicitly, the causes, effects, and approaches to this “epistemological indeterminacy” can be directly addressed in knowledge building practices. Integral theory’s approach (including “methodological pluralism”) involves accepting and integrating diverse perspectives in ways that transcend and include them. This approach accentuates the problems of epistemological indeterminacy and highlights the general need to deal creatively with it. This article begins with a cursory analysis of textual dialogs among integral theorists, showing that, while integral theory itself points to leading-edge ways of dealing with epistemological indeterminacy, the knowledge building practices of integral theorists, by and large, exhibit the same limitations as traditional intellectual discourses. Yet, due to its values and core methods, the integral theory community is in a unique position to develop novel and more adequate modes of inquiry and dialog. This text explores how epistemological indeterminacy impacts the activities and products of groups engaged in collaborative knowledge building. Approaching the issue from three perspectives–mutual understanding, mutual agreement, and mutual regard—I show the interdependence of those perspectives and ground them in relation to integral theory’s concerns. This article proposes three phases of developing constructive alternatives drawn from the knowledge building field: awareness of the phenomena, understanding the phenomena, and offering some tools (and some hope) for dealing with it. Though here I focus on the integral theory community (or communities), the conclusions of the article are meant to be applicable to any knowledge building community, and especially value-oriented groups who see themselves fundamentally as working together to benefit humanity.

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