The development of a conceptual framework for equality-based practice in organizations

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Deats, Robin Kieth
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University College Cork
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My Portfolio questions the effectiveness of traditional top down leadership as an enabler in human performance to achieve sustainable business growth. This relationship to growth is explored from a practitioner, employee, and employer perspective in the pursuit of a preferred work life future. This study therefore, questions the social and commercial effectiveness of sustaining business growth from a purely transactional perspective rather than from a transformational perspective. The challenge presented explores elements of equality to confront the limits to human performance through the experience of apartheid and inequality in work life, by reflecting on the experience of my socialisation and traditional work life. Kegan’s (1994) adult mental development theory of constructive developmental psychology surfaces my professional development challenges as a growth practitioner. Three key questions inform this study. Firstly, how to develop a consciousness that uses collective knowledge, and a more inclusive approach to organisational growth? Secondly, what changes in thinking will develop an individual and collective consciousness around sustained action for continuous improvement in organisational life? And finally, what practices and actions challenge individual and organisational assumptions to gain separation from former epistemologies of knowing? A five-step practice framework maps a pathway to a consciousness that conceptualises what is happening in organisational life, accessing the affective and cognitive aspects of individual human performance. Constructive developmental ideas accelerate the development of equality-based practice, through routinised learning loops, integrating the key elements of equality to activities and decision steps to create substantive business growth. Evidence is presented as an auto ethnographical report (Chapter Two), research and critique that develop an equality based conceptual and practice framework (Chapter Three), and the findings from the tests of the equality-based framework among business leaders in the real world (Chapter Four). Research reveals that the ongoing leadership and organisational commitment to improving social agreements and commercial propositions sustained and increased growth rates in revenues and profitability over a five-year period. Key findings from the tests conducted among businesses reveal that leaders are open to learning about themselves. Further, a heightened sense of involvement and desire to contribute by committed individuals is observed. Organisational change and growth dilemmas are addressed by establishing a cohesive approach and practice framework that maps out a stepped pathway integrating new perspectives by using consciousness thresholds to stand apart from and reflect on first person experiences. By design this happens by integrating these as learning categories into a framework that use decision-steps, routinisation, and iterations of ongoing experiential learning loops to deliver on substantive growth in revenues and profitability. Results from the analysis suggest some leaders and individuals want to contribute as adult learners to an organisational life that fosters the concept of a preferred work life future to sustain and grow their businesses, integrating equality-based practices to shape social agreements and commercial propositions of value. This analysis further reveals that over the five-year research period: • The five steps defined a viable pathway to connect the facilitator to leaders and their organisations and individuals, leaders and groups to each other and how they wanted to co-create a preferred future. • Making the transition from a traditional to modern and post-modern approach through the Equality-Based Practice framework worked to include as many individuals as possible. Individual participants became critiquers of their experience by adding a self-critical element in the search for improved collective outcomes. • The quality of dialogue and thinking improved with each iteration of the five step routinised learning loop, moving from binary to progressively more integrative thinking. Each loop challenged the status quo relating to growth enabling leaders and individuals to learn from each other. This Portfolio concludes by recommending the adoption of the framework by business coaches, business strategists, business leaders, and management consultants, as an accelerated adult learning and development tool which increases the value of their employability and specialism in sustaining change and growth in enterprise.
Leadership , Equality , Transformation , Collective knowledge , Common will , Sustainable growth
Deats, R. K. 2018. The development of a conceptual framework for equality-based practice in organizations. DBA Thesis, University College Cork.