Principles and Ideas

Organisational Analysis and Leadership


Learning at the Edge

The paradigms in which organisations function in response to the changing context, and technological and social challenges of tomorrow’s world, are shifting. The received wisdom on which previous business development and leadership thinking was based are no longer meeting the demands faced in the field at every level of organisational life. The current (political and other) response is to increase regulation and control and to search for compliance.

This cross-disciplinary blended learning programme such as the Alanus MA in Philosophy of Social Innovation: Organisational Analysis and Leadership is operating at the edge of current educational thinking. It is inviting both participants and faculty to take an action research and experiential approach to pushing forward their practice. Its scholastic foundation comes from the Group Relations tradition, psycho-dynamic concepts, systems and integral theory, organisational behaviour and learning concepts, theology/spirituality and the new sciences.

Thinking & Praxis

New bodies of thinking as presented for instance by Scharmer, Wilber, Torbert, Laloux, Senge and others are breaking ground for new forms of organising and leading which are already emerging in the field. The challenge is where and how to put the new thinking into practice, inviting us to be leading at the edge and developing the capacity to work with the emergent while tolerating and not being disabled by the uncertainty and unknown state. The classic Greek word praxis feels very adequate today to highlight the need to link research and academic thinking with application in organisational life – this is particularly relevant in relation to ethical questions, diversity and the sustainability conversation.

Organisational Analysis works at the leading edge of praxis and by doing so helps people develop into practitioners, as opposed to scholars, who access and apply new thinking. The programme and its participants are continuously exploring new territories and applications in the discipline of Organisational Analysis while firmly grounded in over 50 years of action research and organizational transformation work and by linking this with relevant current and existing thinking.

Experience: the Object of Study

In most professional and management development programmes the main object of study is the writing and thinking of others. While this kind of learning is important, it can often leave you wondering how it relates to the dilemmas and specific challenges you face today and tomorrow, in your own environment. In this radical and co-created programme the object of study is your own experience ‘in role’. The concepts and theories you will be introduced to and work with are tools with which you can explore the meaning of your own experience and discover what practical action is being called from you, in order to lead with full authority and to be accountable for the leadership decisions and actions you take.

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