Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/96950
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Type: Journal article
Title: Triggers, timing and type: exploring developmental readiness and the experience of consciousness transformation in graduates of Australian community leadership programs
Author: Vincent, N.
Denson, L.
Ward, L.
Citation: Journal of Adult Development, 2015; 22(4):183-205
Publisher: Springer
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1068-0667
1573-3440
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Niki Vincent, Linley Denson, Lynn Ward
Abstract: This paper reports on leadership program participants’ experience of, and readiness for, stage transition (when one adult developmental stage gives way to another—as in Loevinger’s (Ego development. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1976) stage theory of consciousness, or ego, development). This appears to be the first study reporting the subjective experience of recent shifts in consciousness specifically within the context of leadership development programs. Using qualitative thematic methods to analyse survey responses from 84 individuals graduating from three Australian community leadership programs, we compared the accounts of those who had shifted a stage of consciousness (‘shifters’), those who had changed but not transitioned (‘movers’), and those who had not experienced change (‘non-shifters’). We found support for theoretical predictions concerning the types of changes shifters noticed in themselves, consistent with the small but growing body of research showing positive associations between consciousness development and better leadership performance and organisational outcomes. The data additionally provide support for the conceptual framework of consciousness development articulated by Manners and Durkin (Dev Rev 20:475–513, 2000. doi:10.​1006/​drev.​2000.​0508), and contextual information which may help explain and predict the differing responses to leadership training of people with Myers Briggs Type Indicator Sensing and Intuition preferences—thus contributing to program selection and design. An important, if preliminary, finding was that when selecting candidates for developmental training programs, people who are experiencing significant work or other life changes and challenges should arguably be prioritised rather than sidelined: our shifters cited such challenges as influences promoting readiness for change. Although these conclusions are based on an analysis of survey data, they provide direction for future in-depth qualitative and quantitative research.
Keywords: Constructive developmental theory; Leadership development; Ego development; Adult development; Myers Briggs Type Indicator; MBTI; Washington University Sentence Completion Test; WUSCT
Rights: © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015
DOI: 10.1007/s10804-015-9211-8
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