Bill Torbert and associates illustrate how individuals and organizations can progress through more and more sophisticated “action-logics” — strategies for analyzing the world and reacting to it — until they will eventually be able to practice action inquiry continually. Offering action inquiry exercises at the end of the chapters, the book moves from junior managers beginning to practice action inquiry through CEO’s transforming whole companies, to world leaders transforming whole countries, as exemplified by Czech president Vaclav Havel.
Through short stories of leadership and organizational transformations, this groundbreaking book illustrates how action inquiry increases personal integrity, relational mutuality, company profitability, and long-term organizational and environmental sustainability.
– Offers a powerful method that leaders in organizations of all types can use to increase the timeliness and effectiveness of their actions
– Provides numerous real-world examples of action inquiry in action
– Includes exercises individuals and organizations can use to begin practicing action inquiry
The Power of Balance: Transforming Self, Society, and Scientific Inquiry
Presenting a new theory of power, a new practice of management and a new theory of social science, this volume contradicts the following received wisdoms: that `all power corrupts’; that all organizational structure constrains; and that social science is `purer’ the more it is divorced from action.
Torbert presents a conceptualization of power that generates productivity, justice and inquiry; develops a theory of `liberating structure’ through which organizations can generate continual quality improvement; and introduces a new paradigm of engaged social science – `action inquiry’.
In the second of three sections, Torbert offers an autobiographical case study of applying these theories – a highly charged account of a two-year experiment in business education at Southern Methodist University that combines transformational learning, confrontational politics, and personal intimacy.</>