Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘human development’

Being Prepared to be Unprepared: Meaning Making is Critical for the Resilience of Critical Infrastructure Systems

John E. Thomas, Thomas P. Seager, Thomas J. Murray, Scott Cloutier

Abstract: Infrastructure is essential to provision of public health, safety, and well-being. Yet, even critical infrastructure systems cannot be designed, constructed, and operated to be robust to the myriad of surprising hazards they are likely to be subject to. As such, there has been increasing emphasis in Federal policy on enhancing infrastructure resilience. Nonetheless, existing research on infrastructure systems often overlooks the role of individual decision-making and team dynamics under the conditions of high ambiguity and uncertainty typically associated with surprise. Although evidence suggests that human factors correlating with resilience and adaptive capacity emerge in later stages of psychological development, there is an acute need for new knowledge about the human capacity to comprehend increasing levels of complexity in the context of rapidly evolving technological, ecological, and social stress conditions. Sometimes, it is this developmental capacity for meaning-making that is the difference between adaptive and maladaptive response. Thus, without a better understanding of the human capacity to develop and assign meaning to complex systems, unquestioned misconceptions about the human role may prevail. In this work, we examine the dynamic relationships between human and technological systems from a developmental perspective. We argue that knowledge of resilient human development can improve system resilience by aligning roles and responsibilities with the developmental capacities of individuals and groups responsible for the design, operation, and management of critical infrastructures. Taking a holistic approach that draws on both psychology and resilience engineering literature facilitates construction of an integrated model that lends itself to empirical verification of future research.

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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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The Toxic Effect on Children of a Degraded U.S. Society, Family, and Educational Context: How Will This Nation Respond?

Carol Hoare

Abstract: This paper explores the relationship among conditions in U.S. society and families and U.S. educational achievement data. Such information, along with related data from 30 OECD countries, shows a marked decline in the U.S. as a context for child development and learning. The focus of the paper is on indicators of decline. Data from the 2008-2009 Measure of America Human Development Report of the Social Science Research Council, as well as related economic and educational data, are highlighted. A point elaborated throughout is that schools are but a microcosm of society, and that they alone cannot rectify educational deficits. In the concluding section questions are posed about the will of U.S. citizens and representative institutions and groups to engage in serious change efforts.

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Toward An Integral Process Theory Of Human Dynamics: Dancing The Universal Tango

Sara Ross

Abstract: This article is an outline toward developing a fuller process theory of human dynamics aimed at practical applications by a diverse audience. The theory represents a transdisciplinary synthesis of a universal pattern and integrates humans’ projection dynamics with complex systems dynamics. Five premises, presented in lay language with examples, capture basic elements involved in the meta process of human development and change: reciprocity, projection, development’s structural limits, oscillations, and structural coupling. Based on a fractal dialectical pattern that shows up wherever complex systems are involved, the theory’s applications are scalable. It could be useful for personal development, public policy design, issue analysis, and systemic action on intransigent issues. It may be a complementary adjunct to developmental stage theories because it deals in an accessible way with the processes involved in stage transitions. Throughout the article, its practical relevance at some individual, social, and political scales is illustrated or mentioned. Readers interested in individual and social change may gain a sense of the human dynamics involved in it, and thus the potential usefulness of a process theory that describes what goes on in human change and development.

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