Adjusting blurred visions: A typology of integral approaches to organisations

R.L. Cacioppe, Mark Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The growing interest in developing and applying "integral" approaches to organisations has been accompanied by a corresponding increase in different ways of interpreting this term. This article aims to present a set of criteria to help in defining the varieties of integral approaches to the study of organisations.Design/methodology/approach - These criteria are derived from Ken Wilber's integral framework. The constitutive elements of Wilber's multi-paradigm framework are used to develop a typology that honours the many forms that integral approaches can take.Findings - It is proposed that the key criteria for assessing integral approaches to organisational life are: the structural focus, the engagement with process, and the emphasis on spirituality or essential purpose. Four type categories result from applying the structural criteria. These range from a general type that utilises broadly holistic concepts through to type which employs the detailed application of developmental quadrant and level concepts that formally define the integral approach as conceived by Ken Wilber. The engagement and spirituality criteria are additional enriching criteria that establish the integrity of the methods and purposes used in truly integral approaches.Originality/value - The proposed typology will help in understanding how different authors, researchers and practitioners represent and apply the term "integral" within organisational contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-246
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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