2/23 – A Case for Integral Developmental Psychology in Leadership Education: Perspectives from Teaching Integral and Transpersonal Psychologies on the Doctoral Programme of a Premiere African Business School
David Lipchitz and Paul Freinkel
David Lipchitz and Paul Freinkel
Africa is experiencing unprecedented economic growth, and is gaining attention as an opportunity for international investment. At the same time brutal war, genocide, famine, rampant corruption, and ethnic violence remain fresh in African memories and current affairs. Understanding and navigating this complex business environment falls on business leaders who are often ill equipped to deal with, transcend, and heal trauma and ethnic conflict on personal and societal levels. Applied Personal Transformation (APT) was an elective course teaching integral and transpersonal developmental psychologies on the 2013 doctoral programme of the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). To our knowledge APT was the first time that integral and transpersonal developmental theory had been taught at a business school in South Africa. Our goal was to create a conceptual and experiential framework that would introduce African leaders to a meta-view of the human narrative, that enable them to stand outside of their day to day perceptions and interactions, and better cope with the complexities they currently face. In this paper we reflect on the influence of teaching integral and transpersonal developmental theory and practice on leadership in Africa, through examining thinking and changes reported by students at the time of running the course, and six months completion. Our findings support the case for the inclusion of developmental thinking in leadership education.
Doing Business in Africa: Introduction and Context
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recently published a report on the attention that the investment world is now placing on Africa where economic growth rates are increasing rapidly, and infrastructure and connectivity are developing at a similar rate. There are a few indications that the continent, which has been rife with war, conflict and famine over many decades, is starting to deal with these issues with a longer-term perspective. Investors are therefore viewing Africa through new eyes. The authors of the BCG report noted that over the past few years, and despite fierce competition from Southeast Asia and Latin America there has been a meteoric rise in visits to Africa of CEOs of large multinationals from the US, UK, Europe and the Far East. This rise in visits indicates the increased focus that these large organizations have placed on doing business on the African continent (Dupoux, Emias, Heuze, Niasvas, & Koschitzky Kimani, 2014).
At the same time, some of history’s worst human rights abuses, brutal wars, piracy, blatant corruption, and prolonged famines are still fresh in African memories. Africa still remains divided by tribal and ethnic loyalties. This continues to produce tensions that often spill over into violent conflict. Doing business in this environment is complex and calls for wise leadership, with the skills to transcend these struggles, facilitate unity between ethnically diverse people, and manage personal trauma to navigate and lead others through a remarkably complex, and volatile business environment. Two personal experiences of the authors illustrate dealing with some of this complexity.
Paul was a director of a start-up company in Johannesburg South Africa, which was recruiting a network engineer. The four directors – one of whom was Paul – were interviewing the possible candidates. Three of the four directors were White English speaking South African men, and the fourth was a Zulu man who was serving on the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling political party in South Africa. At age 18, this man was arrested, tortured, and sentenced to death for anti-Apartheid activities, which were regarded as terrorism by the Apartheid regime at the time. The death sentence was later commuted and resulted in him spending time incarcerated on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela.
One of the candidates being interviewed was a White Afrikaans man, who included on his resume that he had spent 5 years in the permanent force of the South African Defence Force, the army of the Apartheid regime. When asked what his role was in this army, he replied that he built listening towers to spy on ANC operatives. The ANC member’s eyes lit up as he asked the candidate, “How would you feel sitting next to the man who blew up your towers?” The applicant laughed and responded, “The past is the past. We need to work together to build a future.” These two men, recently sworn enemies, were able to sit together in a work context and recognize that for South Africa to develop, they had to work together.
Similarly, David consulted to a large logistics company responsible for transporting coal from the mines to a port for export. Coal is one of South Africa’s biggest exports, and the mining sector provides employment to more South Africans than any other. Over a glass of wine, the CEO and COO discovered that during the Apartheid armed struggle, not only were they enemies, but they had shot at each other during an armed skirmish. Through talking openly with each other about that experience, they recognised the value and importance of sharing it with the rest of their organisation. They needed their company to align around a common strategy, and pointed out to their 9 000 employees of diverse ethnic backgrounds the significance of each individual’s role in transcending the past and building the company, which directly benefits a united post-apartheid South Africa. They spoke of their own experience that they, who a few years earlier had tried to kill each other, were able to set aside those differences and rally around a common cause.
The Case for and the Emergence of Integral Teaching in Africa
The two stories above are not isolated instances; they are common across the continent. The protagonists in both cases were able to transcended ethnic, tribal, racial and political identification through realising the particular historical context. This way of interacting requires awareness of self, of other and of history. This is a point made by Ronald Heifetz and Donald Laurie, of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University that business leaders should be able to view patterns as if they were on a balcony looking down onto a dance floor (Heifetz & Laurie, 2005). Leaders need to transcend themselves and see the context for their action and interactions. In other words, they need to shift their personhood to higher levels of integral or transpersonal development. Gaining the skills and self- knowledge required for self-transcendence is lifelong spiritual work, and the need for teaching these skills has been recognised by leadership scholars such as Cashman (1998, p. 18) who suggests “The missing link in leadership development is growing the person to grow the leader. As we grow, so shall we lead.”
This approach to teaching leadership, in our experience, is critical in the African context and provides African business schools with both opportunity and responsibility. Over the last ten years, some have taken up the challenge.
Leadership development courses emphasising personal growth have been gaining traction in South African business schools for about 20 years, since the abolition of apartheid, and the recognition that a different type of leader is required to lead through different circumstances. For example the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) recognised that political and sociological changes of post-apartheid South Africa had infiltrated business, but that the post-apartheid political healing had been missed in the business arena where “most cross ethnic interactions were occurring” (April & April, 2007). UCT GSB introduced a compulsory leadership development course to their flagship MBA programme. The course was predicated on self-mastery (what they termed personal leadership), communication and dialogue (intra-personal leadership), and transformative leadership (inter-personal leadership). Similar personal mastery and leadership courses have been adopted in other South African MBA programmes.
Susan Cook-Greuter (2004) makes a compelling argument for the inclusion of a developmental perspective into leadership education as leaders face increasingly complex and flexible systems of meaning making in themselves, and in the environments in which they live and lead. This argument is well demonstrated in the African context through the role that integral developmental psychology, in particular the role that Spiral Dynamics is reported to have played in facilitating the negotiations that ended apartheid (Wilber, 2000). Despite participation in the creation of a multicultural democratic South Africa, integral developmental theory remained outside mainstream educational institutions in South Africa. To our knowledge integral or transpersonal developmental approaches only emerged in the South African business school leadership curricula in 2013 with ourselves teaching integral development and transpersonal psychology to the 2013 doctoral cohort at the Gordon Institute of Business Science of the University of Pretoria, and Dr Don Beck teaching a three day course in Spiral Dynamics as part of the University of Stellenbosch Business School’s Executive Education Programme (University of Stellenbosch Executive Education, 2013).
What follows is a report of our experience teaching Integral and Transpersonal Psychology to the doctoral cohort of the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) of the University of Pretoria (UP). GIBS is considered to be a premiere African business school which is ranked among the top 100 business schools globally in the prestigious Financial Times Executive MBA Rankings for 2013 (Financial Times Executive MBA Ranking, 2013).
Applied Personal Transformation: A Course in Integral Developmental Theory and Transpersonal Psychology
Through a series of serendipitous events we were invited to teach an elective course on the reformulated doctoral programme of GIBS. The doctoral studies course is aimed at students from all over Africa. In 2013, 41 students registered for the doctoral programme, the bulk of the students coming from South Africa, but students from Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and the United Arab Emirates and Botswana were represented.
We set about designing a course for the 2013 PhD cohort that would offer a meta-view of human nature, and to make it an applied course by providing students with a taste of an integral practice, such as mindfulness meditation. We called the elective “Applied Personal Transformation” (APT). Our goal was to create a conceptual and experiential framework that would enable our students to stand outside of their day to day perceptions and interactions in order that they better understand how they and others were navigating and making meaning from their lives in 21st Century Africa. Our stated intention was that in order to successfully lead and develop other people, one has to develop the knowledge, skills and practices to know one’s self, and to plot a personal developmental trajectory.
The APT course consisted of 4 weeks of online tuition, and 2 days on campus in person. It consisted of introduction to expanded ways of knowing (Braud, 2011), Wilber’s Integral Psychology (Wilber, 2000), an introduction to some of Transpersonal Psychology’s Developmental Models (Cook-Greuter, 2005; Ruumet, 2006), readings in business and personal application of the theory and a short introduction to meditation.
It was our experience previously that courses of this nature lead to deep personal sharing. We therefore consciously created a safe contained course environment. We asked students to commit to a confidentiality agreement, and we strongly encouraged “netiquette”. We encouraged vulnerability and self-disclosure as students interacted with each other and the course material. We modelled this expectation by sharing openly from our own experiences. We also ensured that we were visibly present online throughout the course, and engaged regularly with each student’s postings.
We encouraged students to examine their underlying assumptions leading to their stated opinions and prejudices on the subject. We actively probed and challenged students in the online and in person environments. APT was the first course of the PhD programme, and the first time many of the students were engaging academically online.
APT was a potentially risky adventure. The course was experimental for this particular business school, and we were virtually unknown in the world of business academia.
The course ran from 4 February 2013 to 15 March 2013. Twenty five (61% of the doctoral cohort) students registered for the course (15 men and 10 women), which was a much higher number than we anticipated. The cohort was multinational including students from South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and the United Arab Emirates. Seventeen students actually completed the course – 8 did not meet the academic standard required to be awarded a credit for the elective.
In evaluating the course, we gathered data from in-course postings and essays, post course written evaluation of the course by students, and hosted a focus group with 10 students, 6 months after the course to understand the longer term impact. The focus group consisted of a semi structured interview with each participant speaking in turn and was later transcribed and analysed. All participants signed informed consent giving permission for us to use interview data collected as well material that they had submitted during the course. Names have been changed to protect anonymity. The study was approved by the ethics committee of the Gordon Institute of Business Science.
Online and In Person: Our Perspectives Teaching
For almost all the students this was the first time they had been exposed to Integral and Transpersonal Theory. Students came from diverse backgrounds and nationalities, and a wide range of unique experiences and universal experiences emerged.
For most students outside of South Africa, this was the first time that they were inquired about what they thought and felt in an academic context. They reported that their previous experiences had been to simply paraphrase what they had read. For most students both South African and the rest of Africa, this was the first time in an academic environment that they had been invited to show vulnerability and share from their own lives – this resulted in a variety of responses: from welcoming, to rejecting the experience as non-academic, and a variety in-between.
Most students were initially reluctant to comment on each other’s online postings. The newness of the material the students were exposed also led to some uncertainty. We noticed some initial confusion around how to approach and respond to the readings. As the students were expected to write something, they reverted back to summarising what they had read, when our expectation was that they would not only understand what they had read, but also be able to integrate the new material, critique it, and apply it to their own lives. Only after a few weeks, did we see any evidence of this showing up in their writing.
Students Perspectives on the Impact of Exposure to Integral Theory and Transpersonal Psychology
A multiplicity of themes emerged. We have reported on six in a some detail. Students were surprised at the novelty and utility of integral and transpersonal theory being taught in a business school. They felt it provided them with an expanded perspective, not only on their lives, but on the rest of the conventional syllabus they were exposed to. They found that the APT course helped them find a voice, and then validate their personal authentic voice in scholarship and most gratifyingly that they were being encouraged to be authentic and whole in the workplace. Some students though felt the approach was “too loose” academically and had done them a disservice. Some felt discomforted in questioning deeply held beliefs, but reported viewing and holding beliefs from a place of greater maturity. Other students reported that through understanding a universal narrative, they developed both a greater tolerance of, and more importantly a curiosity in, the diverse richness of its particularised expression in cultures other than their own. Students also reported on their feelings towards our approach as faculty with some feeling more comfortable than others on our level of engagement. We now explore each theme in turn. Narratives have been copyedited to improve flow.
Newness of Integral and Transpersonal Theory in a Business School
Students reported being surprised, excited, and discomforted by the idea of spirituality and integral theory being part of the workplace, let alone part of a business PhD curriculum.
Anusha: …the whole idea that this was a formal, if relatively new field in the first place, that was quite a learning, and I was excited to understand what was covered in this new field, and to try and just learn more about some of the facets contained therein.
Pete: For me the whole idea of spirituality in business seemed almost like an oxymoron. I didn’t think it made sense, though but I did appreciate the idea of transformational leaders taking organisations, not necessarily business organisations, from one level to another. The APT course opened my thinking to the possibility of these types of skills being relevant for organizational transformation and also personal transformation.
Stefan: I want to link up with some of the other comments on the foreign nature of the study material, and I think it got me a bit off guard, because I wasn’t prepared for something as extreme as it was. I think it was completely out there – in terms of what the expectations were…
Provided Expanded Perspective
APT was the first module of the PhD programme. Its position provided a context for some students to view courses that followed. The course material also gave students permission to see beyond preconceived boundaries of “acceptable” knowledge of a business school and gave a deeper, more connected perspective to their studies, and in some cases influenced students’ choice of research.
Anusha: I liked the fact that it was positioned first from all the modules. It did influence this perspective of connectedness, I thought, and just viewing my studies and what I was trying to achieve not just in isolation, but in context of something larger, so it actually did have an impact on how I wanted to take my research forward, especially with regard to the connectedness / spiritual intelligence concept.
One student remarked that transpersonal and integral theory was very appealing to her, but it was not something she was going to use in her current research, but that it was something that she would come back to in the future.
Susan: I am not using an APT topic for my research, but I remember when I was asked to write the essay at the end, and I wrote about Integral Investment, it was very appealing at the time. I felt that this is something that I can actually go into, given that one day in academia I want to study about that… what I want to say that it’s very applicable for me, even though I am not using it now.
This was one of intention in running the APT course, to plant the seeds of an integral approach into the minds African leadership.
Finding and Validating an Authentic Voice in Scholarship and as People
Many students reported that APT helped them find, acknowledge, and validate their personal voices as scholars.
Nobe: The one thing that the course helped me with as a scholar is bringing across my voice in my writing, even in other modules.
Pete: Oh yes, every so often, especially like Nobe said the idea of bringing I, me into a text that you are writing, every so often, it becomes important. We are asked, so what do you think, you can cite all this literature, (but) what do you think.
One student experienced a sense of relief that her life and being need not be fragmented, that she could be authentic and whole in her personal life, her academia, and job. This was a new experience for her.
Susan: And then also the whole thing of spirituality, not that it was very new, but I always lead a life separating my work, my everyday activity, from spirituality and so on, and here I am on a course, where they are saying, you know, everything is just meshed together. And I felt very comfortable with that because finally, it brought a bit of authenticity, you are still the same person in everywhere, and in so much, and that I liked – getting back to my everyday life, and the rest of the courses, so many times.
This effect of APT on helping students to find and validate their academic voices and their authenticity is probably as much an effect of being exposed to integral and transpersonal theory as well as our approach as facilitators creating a safe and authentic environment as we will show later. That APT helped students to find their academic voice and validated their authenticity was particularly gratifying for us as we strongly advocate that personal authenticity of leaders in Africa is critical to facilitate trust building and healing the many years of colonisation, as well the years of dictatorial, corrupt, and war mongering post-colonial leaders in Africa.
Examination of Deeply Held Beliefs
In our experience as clinicians and facilitators, introspection and understanding the developmental basis of personal deeply held beliefs and prejudices and the way humans construct tribal identity aids in transcending prejudice and conflict, both societal and personal. Two students reported that the developmental theory challenged deeply held religious beliefs. In one student’s case this lead to understanding the belief from a more mature and enriching perspective and lead to a curiosity (more than just tolerance of) other cultures. Another student reported that understanding the span of Transpersonal / Integral Development lead to her understanding that her way of making meaning of her life had shifted.
Stefan: … I found core beliefs that I had, to be challenged, and that made me extremely uncomfortable. I went through a process where, almost fundamental religious beliefs, almost came under scrutiny. So, I found myself, almost doubting that is this belief construct I have a valid one, which led to obviously emotional discomfort and …but it led to an experience of revisiting some of the stuff that we were taught as children, and re-evaluating those and coming to a point where you make peace with that situation on a higher level of maturity, so now what you believe is not what you believe because you have been taught this, but now you’ve gone through an emotional experience where you have actually enriches your belief system.
Nobe: Being a Christian for 10 years came with some restrictions on asking of questions and fear of sin. At some point I experienced a spiritual by-pass, attending every meeting and prayer, but subconsciously I was running away from ”life” and childhood issues I had not dealt with. The circle of influence was rigid, and re-inforced that one needed only to be with likeminded people to be “spiritual”.
…In searching for meaning however, we often take extremes; we go on opposite ends and look externally rather than deep within. For many years, I was looking at the church for validation and assurance, and lived a life of striving, to be a good Christian… Reading non-Christian books was a burden, I would feel like I was disobeying God. I must qualify all of this by stating that I was in an extreme religious environment.
I was searching for meaning, religion was meant to provide the meaning … I attended Bible school and every programme in church and was commended for commitment, but my yearning was not fulfilled. It is only after reading Ruumet (2006 – One of the texts of APT) that I understood what was going on. I understand why I became frustrated, angry and tired, if only I had allowed myself to read the book , or any other similar book earlier. When I spoke to friends in the church, I would get multiple verses, and there was a time when I did not want to hear verses any more. I wanted friends to talk to, people who would understand where I was. I later focused on work, and I wanted to achieve the things that had never been achieved in my family, and experienced the pressure of expectations that I would uplift family members. Even this did not take away the search for meaning.
What I took away is that it is necessary to understand what I believe in and why I believe in it, as well as what the source of the belief is, in my case it was largely from spiritual leaders and I need to find out what I believe for myself.
Tolerance and Curiosity in Richness of Diversity of Expression of the Human Narrative
For the two students mentioned above, the experience of having their fundamental belief systems rattled and then understanding the developmental context of those belief systems led not only to greater tolerance, but curiosity in the richness of other cultures.
Stefan: I think I can vouch for a huge shift, almost, in how I view people from different culture groups, and different nationalities. Not that I was very closed minded, but the course helped open my mind really to engage with people, not because you supposed to tolerate people, but because there is richness there, there are growth opportunities in engaging with people that you wouldn’t have normally…
… you get your fundamental belief systems rattled, so that makes you very cognizant of the fact that what you accept to be true, might not be, and that there’s truths out there, and that then that asks you to engage with people from different cultures, so that you can see, and can start learning, and start to grow, so it was a tolerance yes, but it was also a curiosity that has been opened because of this, you have found a channel into different cultures and people.
Nobe: What I have learnt is that there are a lot of similarities between Christianity and other forms of spirituality and that I do not need to be scared of opening up and learning and tapping into some of the universal truths that will change our world.
The latter student in an essay went on to describe how re-examining her belief system through the lens of transpersonal developmental theory helped her transcend religious grouping to recognise divinity in others outside her immediate circle.
Nobe: Ruumet makes mention of the need to accept people as equals with the same wants and needs as us and connection with all existence. This was difficult for me as a Christian as I grew to believe that friendship with the world is enmity with God, and that I needed to keep Christian friends. Ruumet refers to Aloha (Ruumet’s fourth stage of development) as recognition of the divine and common essence beyond what separates us, empathy love and compassion. I could identify with this, in fact I was not seeing it amongst those I fellowshipped with and often noticed it from places I least expected.
These narratives validate our experience of the power of the developmental approach to demonstrate that identity, custom and belief is a particularised expression of a universal human story, and that being mindful of this can open tribal and religious boundaries. The developmental approach is a powerful tool for African leaders to heal ethnic divide and prevent future conflict in the personal, commercial, and societal arenas.
The Facilitator’s Approach
Our approach as facilitators as mentioned was to encouraged students to examine their underlying assumptions leading to their stated opinions and prejudices on the subject under discussion. We encouraged vulnerability and self-disclosure as they interacted with us as facilitators, each other and the course material. We made a point of disclosing some of our own experience, and actively probed and challenged students in the online and in person environments. For the duration of the course we were ever-present, engaged, and invited the whole person into the classroom, not just the student. Our intention was to be simultaneously engaging, challenging, and nurturing. Largely students appreciated this, stating they felt the learning environment to be nurturing and gave her a sense of safety and freedom.
Anusha: I agree, I found the online feedback, and the sense of community very nurturing, very welcoming. It definitely felt like it was a safe space in which I could say whatever I genuinely felt, and there wouldn’t be offence taken and that it would be part of the learning process, so there was freedom, in that sense, to say exactly what I felt and thought, even to explore ideas that I didn’t necessarily have the answers to, to ask questions of others in the group as well, and to not feel like I had to keep anything to myself, so it was very much more engaging in that sense.
Mandla: The delivery style… I grew the most out of was you encouraging us to be open and feeling in a safe space…
Students felt that the way in which we delivered the course content alleviated some of the stress of a very demanding course schedule. We were surprised that even though we did not tolerate careless or disordered assignments, how many remarked on the power of our use of the words “thank you”.
Susan: There were moments when I felt that I am feeling so stressed out, just go to the online side of APT and, you know, just listen to what, I mean read what everybody is saying, you know and get a comment of thank you for this, and I would feel better. That for me was different from my usual learning.
Akiki: Now, one fascinating thing is that regardless of the topic, that we chose to go into… the 2 facilitators, Paul and David were willing to go the whole way with you and engage you properly up to the end. In fact one time, we were talking about, it was Pierre, one of us who is not here, and he told me, you know what, even if you say “thank you very much”, David or Paul will say ”Oh, actually the pleasure was mine”, and if you ever say, “no, the pleasure was all mine”, they will still have something else to add on that.
I think that was the beauty, because I felt like I am being guided forward, and I am not been left on my own.
The delivery style also provided an example to students on how to handle strong differences in opinion where they felt morally affronted.
Mandla: I remember in particular Pierre was advocating for terrorism… I wanted to take him on, I was affronted by that, I wanted to take him on on that particular issue to change his mind, but the process that I learned out of that is that you can do that as much as you can, but people’s viewpoints are always going to be their viewpoints, so its about coming to a space where you don’t necessarily accept it, but you accept that other people will differ with what you have, but it is not your responsibility to change their mindset, so that was the biggest change for me, and I think it came out of the delivery style where you encouraged people to be open, and for us to confront both our fears and our existing paradigms that we might be living in.
One student commented on the uniqueness of the course content and approach the corresponding need for the particularly delivery style. It is difficult to tease apart the delivery style and the course material when explaining the comments reported above.
Pete: …the one thing that APT has going for it was the uniqueness of its content which comes from it being new. The uniqueness of the engagement between the faculty and the students. Again, when we say uniqueness, you may begin to wonder what we mean because all other faculty try to give us feedback, not as regularly as APT faculty would, because every time you just kept jumping in every time someone said something, which was good, because it was necessary considering how new this stuff is. You APT guys were telling us, guiding us, and I think that was really nice.
He was also uncomfortable though with the extent of personal disclosure saying he felt he was in therapy.
Pete: At one point, I felt that David and Paul were taking up a position of shrink of sorts… I was uncomfortable with that.
In addition to creating a safe environment, we encouraged students to write in the first person. This was not the norm in most academic classes, but it further emphasised the importance of bringing the full person into the class. Some students felt this lacked academic rigor and reported that it being the first course of the programme set an example that was not representative of other classes. As such it did the students a disservice. Although we had informed students that APT would be different to other courses, this comment was not wholly unexpected
Sian: … it lacked for me the rigour of what this (doctoral) programme necessarily asked in terms of the other modules… the looseness of it did me a disservice because that kind of looseness is not the norm.
As a final comment on our delivery style, as facilitators we were naïve to hours of commitment our approach required. We were not full time faculty and were teaching APT in addition to our regular (albeit slimmed down) working schedule. By the end of the course we were physically and mentally exhausted. We realised in the future we would have to be more careful and more structured with our time.
As mentioned before we have only reported on selected themes which we felt reflected important outcomes of the APT elective. Furthermore while ten of the seventeen students who successfully completed the course attended the focus group, these students may have represented and reported a particular bias.
This paper reflects on our experience of teaching an atypical class, Applied Personal Transformation, in an African business school. While clearly much more research is required to test the value of including an applied elective in integral and transpersonal theory in the doctoral syllabus of a business school, we feel strongly that for leaders to survive and thrive in Africa, atypical approaches are called for. There is a lot to be gained from the traditional business school curriculum, but for Africa to tackle the complex issues facing her, and to exploit the opportunities available to her, an integrated, whole person, and developmental approach to leadership is essential.
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About the Authors
Paul Freinkel MB BCh. Ph.D is a medical doctor in private practice, heading an interdisciplinary health care centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a research associate and Ph.D mentor at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) of the University of Pretoria. He completed his Ph.D in psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto California. In addition he is a software entrepreneur, an exhibiting fine art photographer and trained singer. Paul integrates this diverse experience through his research in transpersonal psychology.
David Lipschitz Ph.D is a clinical psychologist engaged in a wide variety of fields of application. He runs a small independent psychotherapy practice. He completed his Ph.D in psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto California. Like Paul, he is a research associate and PhD mentor at GIBS. David also has some ad hoc involvement at the University of the North West Psychology department, where he is involved in the selection, training, and teaching of masters psychology students. He has a particular interest in psycho-spiritual development, and how it applies to personal, leadership and team development, and consults locally and internationally to organisations in this field. David has initiated and leads a Fathers and Daughters programme at Roedean School in Johannesburg, which is currently spreading to other schools and contexts.