This paper aims to formulate a theory for using typology for development and skilful means of interaction, extricating it from the tyranny of polarization and labelling, and increasing its robustness and versatility to begin to understand social autopoiesis.

The meta-model sees a type pattern as an organizing system in which energy fields self-organize around an attractor of some kind. This offers a verb-adverb approach to typology to complement the conventional noun-adjective approach (Bruce?)

An important set of definitions from a systems theoretical standpoint are elucidated, which I found usefully succinct:

  • Pattern – configuration of essential aspects in relation to one another
  • Structure –physical embodiment of the pattern
  • Processes – activities required to maintain the pattern.

A question that comes up for while reading the Essential Motivator Model, the Cognitive Dynamics Model, or any other typological classification such as the Four Interaction Style Patterns on page 11: shouldn’t these frameworks be enlarged to look at inter-subjective and inter-objective realities also? For example, the in-charge interaction style would be appropriate for urgent and exigent situations, the chart-the-course style for analytically complex decisions, the get-things-going style for interpersonally sensitive issues, and the behind-the-scenes style for cross-functional/ cross-disciplinary matters.

So I am suggesting that we need to include personal typology AND situational or contextual typology, if we have to move towards a meta-modelling effort that includes conventional descriptives and also post-conventional normatives. Shouldn’t it be a second tier 101 affair to recognize the context-sensitivity of each of these types in a lower quadrants sense, and be able to attune oneself accordingly in an upper quadrants sense, in-the-moment? I would argue a mature, integrally informed and enactive capacity would be to transcend (but not repress) personal typology with full attention and availability to contextual typology. The attractor, then, switches from only one’s own dispositional inclinations to the demands of the social circumstance as well in which one is being called to respond to. 

The author does touch upon the notion of the contextual self – but for the meta-model to be able to incorporate social autopoiesis, a dynamic pattern of interaction between the personal and contextual attractors would need to be envisioned and modelled. The Pattern Dynamics Meta-types come to mind here, and there may be other ways too.

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Neelesh, you've done a nice job summarizing this paper and offering some fruitful questions for further reflection.  I enjoyed the paper (and actually had a chance to meet and chat briefly with the author at the ITC), and I welcome further development of the "types" element of AQAL (since, I agree, it has tended to be the most-neglected and least-theorized element of IT), but for some reason I've had a hard time formulating a response to it.

I like your suggestion that a robust (integral) meta-model should include (and interface) both personal typologies and social/contextual typologies.  Berens does acknowledge that the patterns charted by the models she discusses do track across both individual and collective quadrants, but I agree that it would be useful to model ways to employ both (especially in applied and strategic contexts). 

I appreciated Berens' cautionary note about not confusing stages with types, as I have seen this error repeated in a number of places (mostly in informal integral discussions online).  When stages are treated as types, that often has an unfortunate "narrowing" or limiting effect -- with the assumption being that people at a certain stage will believe and behave a particular way, rather than seeing that a stage can accommodate a plurality of (even incommensurate) beliefs, orientations, and styles.

When you mentioned that Berens was offering a verb-adverb model to complement the usual noun-adjective formulation, I was excited by that and hoped to see an explicit reference to this in the paper, but now I realize this was your own interpretation of her focus on processes and attractors.  Yes, I think this is what she appears to be doing: offering an ad/verbal approach to better account for the complexity and nuance of typology (which more static, nounal approaches tend to miss).  It would be interesting to explore how a fuller "six view" approach might be employed here -- perhaps appealing to pronounal and/or prepositional models to do some of the work you suggest of navigating and interfacing individual and collective typological expressions.  And, yes, the Pattern Dynamics model might also be good to explore in this context (a timely suggestion on your part, since the next paper we'll be reading is by Winton).

Hi Bruce,

To your point about the importance of not confusing stages with types, (as made by the author in the paper), I agree. I would add a delicate point, though, that in some ways (not all) this matters increasingly more at higher stages.

And conversely, this matters less at earlier stages such as magenta and red, where there aren't too many pluralistic orientations to be accommodated.

I would even go as far as to say that for earlier levels, using skilful means of communication and such other methods of social attunement and influence is perhaps simpler served using levels that conventional types. The potential  risk of 'simplification' is outweighed by the speed and effectiveness of the response possible as a result of the stage-based typological analysis and inter-subjective 'adjustment' to suit purpose. I raise this point since the paper purports an action-bias in addition to a theoretical one.

By way of an example, Adam Leonard, is his paper Integral Communication (2004), outlines a communication strategy based on stage-based value systems (chapters 5 and 6 specifically). 

Okay, yes, that's a good point.  However, while we don't find pluralistic thinking much in evidence at early stages of development, I think a plurality of types or styles still manifests itself (in cultural forms, social codes, communication patterns, etc) at these stages.  How I might frame this would be that, especially for conversations across stages (and perhaps even moreso across significant gaps in stages), appealing to a stage model rather than a typological model in your initial attunement efforts will get you "in the neighborhood" and into a general resonance with the other more quickly and readily.  If the conversation and relationship deepens and progresses, then appeals to more nuanced stage-specific typological distinctions might be required.  (Here, the initial research into stage-specific typological expressions that Berens references would be particularly useful and relevant.)  What do you think?

Yes, I agree. Angelina Bennett's work seems to the one closest to a stage-specific typological expression subject.

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