While much of the existing research regarding moral exemplarity has focused on living individuals, examination of the lives of historical figures can also prove invaluable in understanding moral motivation. Consequently, this paper sought to apply Frimer and Walker’s (2009) reconciliation model and methodology in examining themes of agency and communion in the motivation of Miep Gies. Frimer and Walker’s (2009) Self-Understanding Interview and the VEiN coding method (Frimer, Walker, & Dunlop, 2009) served as guides for examining published and audio-recorded interviews, biographical and autobiographical information, as well as video-recorded speeches given by Gies. Aspects of an integrated moral identity appeared evident in the personality of Miep Gies as indicated in statements reflecting an overlap of both agency and communion. The study was limited in its reliance on publically available documents about or by Gies. Further, reliance on these documents, as opposed to a “live” interview, limited the ability of the author to identify responses to all questions included in Frimer and Walker’s (2009) interview or fully utilize the VEiN coding method (Frimer et al., 2009). Exploration of life narratives of historical figures can provide insight into an integrated moral identity as well as examples of developmental crossroads Frimer and Walker (2009) cited as essential in their reconciliation model. Comprehension of this reconciliation process is critical to understanding what lies at the heart of moral motivation and action as well as the ability to promote such growth in the lives of others.
Glover, R. (2015), "Agency and Communion: The Moral Motivation of Miep Gies", The Ethical Contribution of Organizations to Society (Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations, Vol. 14), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 189-200. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1529-209620150000014009Download as .RIS
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