Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

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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Constructive-Developmental Theory and the Integrated Domains of Wisdom: Are Post-Conventional Leaders Really Wiser?

Sharon L. Spano

Abstract: How leaders experience wisdom is important to our understanding of leadership behavior as well as to our overall understanding of leadership. The article explores qualitative findings that may advance academic discourse and research at the intersection between leadership, wisdom, and constructive-developmental theory. The present study examined how 12 executive leaders who assessed at the conventional and post-conventional stages of adult development experience wisdom. It is significant in that it addresses a gap in the literature between wisdom and constructive-developmental theory. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to determine how executive leaders understand their leadership role in terms of the cognitive, reflective, and affective domains of wisdom. Contrary to research that defines and operationalizes wisdom as the integration of these domains, findings indicate that participants experience wisdom in one or more of the domains of wisdom. Participants were also assessed for their meaning-making capacity to determine their stage of development using the SCTi-Map instrument. Contrary to research in constructive-developmental theory that suggests that post-conventional levels of development may equate to higher levels of wisdom, findings also indicate that there was no significant difference between how leaders describe their propensity for wisdom and their measured adult stage of development. Leaders who assessed at both the conventional and post-conventional stages of development described a propensity for wisdom. Analysis of participant responses suggests that the wisdom, in all its complexity, has its own trajectory and therefore necessitates inquiry into the lines of human development to include integral perspectives associated with spiritual, emotional, and psychosocial measures. The results of this study indicate the potential for additional research that explores wisdom in the context of both adult lines and adult stages of development to determine if specific correlations do exist.

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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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A Leadership Journey: Personal Reflections from the School of Hard Knocks

R. Scott Pochron

Abstract: The following paper chronicles the evolution of the author’s thinking on leadership through the course of his work experience. Leadership is viewed as a dynamical process involving both formal and informal roles. The process is initiated as an individual identifies opportunities and feels pulled to respond to emerging patterns and initiate action to enable positive change. The dynamics between formal and informal leadership structures and leadership as a state of mind are discussed.

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The Springs of Leadership

Nathan Harter

Leadership denotes activity, if not strenuous activity. Yet in its own way contemplation is an activity—an activity arguably at the root of leadership, which this meditation seeks to justify.

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A Transdisciplinary Mind: An Interview with Ian Mitroff

Russ Volckmann

Abstract: Known more widely as the “Father of Crisis Management,” University of Southern California professor Ian Mitroff came to the work of Ken Wilber and integral theory over two decades ago. No one else has brought an integral perspective to the fields of management and organization theory for as long as Mitroff. In this interview he talks about the development of his theories, the people he has worked closely with, his spiritual development and the streams of his work, including his research on spirituality in organizations. While his involvement with Wilber’s Integral Institute is not what he would like it to be, he sees there the potential to develop an institution that addresses the politicization and failures of our institutions of higher education. In the face of the crisis in leadership, integral and transdisciplinary approaches have the potential for making a positive difference as we are faced with the dissolution of distinctions that underlie how we make meaning in the world.

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Voegelin’s Ladder

Nathan Harter

Abstract: Leadership has non-logical aspects. One of these is spirituality. Voegelin’s Ladder provides a context for studying spirituality as a part of leadership. What it reveals is that spirituality arises at the intersection of the human with the divine. Spirituality expresses itself as purpose and aspiration, which a leader embodies.

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Timely and Transforming Leadership Inquiry and Action: Toward Triple-loop Awareness

Anne Starr and Bill Torbert

Abstract: Drawing from situations in business, art, leadership education, and home life, this essay experiments with diverse ways to communicate the experience of triple-loop awareness. Contrasting it with single- and double-loop feedback in a person’s awareness, the triple-loop supposedly affords the capacity to be fully present and exercise re-visioning, frame-changing timely leadership. The essay presents an encompassing theory of time and of its relationship with our own capacity for awareness. The experiment concludes with the reminder to readers that a first reading is like walking around the base of a mountain. The authors invite readers to try out one of the uphill paths of being with these experiments with a different kind of attention.

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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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