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Title: From a slick Industrial Psychologist to a modest and reflective leadership development practitioner : a story about personal reorientation that occurred in the course of facilitating change in leadership practice
Author: Mushayandebvu, Aloisious
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 9625
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2019
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Leadership is a key component to the operation of an organisation. I sought through this study to address perceived gaps in organisational effectiveness in an actual production and distribution business. I concurrently wanted to generate actionable knowledge. I aimed to expand the participating managers' external perceptual range and related acuity. The study was designed along action research principles as a flexible but systematic and collaborative facilitation. I planned to use the immunity to change model to structure reflexivity engagements with participants to reorder their sense making and enhance their leadership practice. I approached this facilitation from a complexity perspective. That view directed me to target pertinent intrapersonal dynamics of the participating managers. I regarded those as founding their leadership outlooks and behaviours. The research design was premised on an assumption that requisite leadership agency and individual responsiveness were necessary for organisations to competently navigate complex and dynamic environments. The research terminated prematurely. The implemented change process nonetheless unsettled participants' commitments and assumptions relating to their leadership practice. Immunity to change was affirmed as a likely confounding factor in leadership development. At the time of the premature closure to the facilitation, I had generated sufficient data to refocus the study into an inquiry about my personal learning and development. My practice became the objects for examination and extension. The findings suggested that I had underlying perceptual and behavioural inclinations or templates that could have been narrowing my capacity to optimally interface with complexities in the social reality. The implicit overarching rationale behind the participants' inferred leadership practice and mine was inclined towards sustaining current behavioural practices. We were not actively adaptive. The findings suggested that individuals may not innately actively understand and adopt responsive practices. Whilst we declared aspiration to be proactive, our immunity maps suggested that we had counteracting commitments and assumptions that held us back in re-acting and or premeditated action behavioural modes. I engaged the facilitation process in a deliberate, planned and non-venturing manner and was not freely spontaneous. The research generated personal learning insights for me and pertinent premises for future research in development of leadership and the generation of related knowledge. The findings pointed towards the need to prioritise intrapersonal change in order to attain impactful leadership development. I commit to a more open, reflexive and searching lifestyle for me to operate better in the complex and dynamic environment I practice in. This I expect will moderate the effects of blind spots generated by perceptual and behavioural templates that I use. In particular I note that my predominant reliance on objective and planned change approaches are unlikely to engage organisational politics and power issues and should be expected to sometimes be unhelpful in building socially robust consulting practice. I therefore committed to be more reflexive, responsive and socially wholesome in my consulting practice. In addition to my current roles as technical expert and process facilitator, I need to take on the role of activist to make my practice more socially robust.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral