How differing conceptions of integrity and self-integration influence relationships: Implications for management, personal and professional development
As human beings we need to relate to others; the exercise of our professional roles demands it. Relationships, however, bring about challenges to the self that require us to act with integrity. Different approaches to integrity configure different ways of cognitively and intuitively feeling and acting in our relationships. Moreover, different ways of understanding human development are related to different ways of understanding integrity in the self. While not an exhaustive account, we sketch out three models of human development that capture much of this diversity, the so-called autonomous self (AS), processual self (PS) and inter-processual self (IPS). Each has a particular way of defining integrity in the self and understanding action. The AS and PS models understand integrity as internal coherence thanks primarily to rational exercise, with priority given to the content of action, while relations are seen as resources. AS and PS focus on cognition through rational or emotional and external mastery of our relationships and our relationship to our own integrity (self-integrity is also handled as a cognitive exercise mirroring how external relations are understood). The IPS understands integrity as the dynamic to growth and cognition itself as a relational act that, when it arises from within, affects all dimensions of the person and hence how to ethically relate to others and ourselves. Different kinds of integrity are also related to practical wisdom. Based on this, we explore consequences of these different ways of understanding self-integration and relationships for approaching management and leadership roles to open up reflection in the field of management on leadership, relational integrity and personal development.