Making the case for a developmental perspective

Susanne R. Cook‐Greuter (Independent Scholar and Consultant, Harthill USA, Wayland, Maryland, USA)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Publication date: 1 December 2004


This paper introduces the concept of action logics as increasingly complex and flexible systems of meaning‐making to the management field. It adds the developmental perspective (vertical transformation) to the training and development concept of growth as lateral expansion. It outlines the major shift from viewing people mostly as different types to also considering differences in the differentiation and integration of their meaning‐making capacity. First, there is a brief overview of the developmental approach, and the assumptions shared in the field of adult development research. Next the spiral Leadership Development Framework and its measuring instrument are described, and the reader is walked through two examples of what it means to interpret the world from different actions logics. Finally, the benefits of a developmental perspective are outlined. It predicts that postconventional leaders can more flexibly and successfully tailor their interactions to the differing needs of those they work with to create greater capacity throughout the system.



Cook‐Greuter, S. (2004), "Making the case for a developmental perspective", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 36 No. 7, pp. 275-281.

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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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