Integral Review

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

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.

Tags: , , , ,

Current Issue

Recent Issues