Assessment Methods for Self-Development Goals of Executives

Assessment Methods for Self-Development Goals of Executives

Käthe Schneider (Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena, Germany)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-068-2.ch023
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There is a complex relationship between self-development and self-awareness. The individual needs to develop an awareness of herself and her self-development goals before being able to identify circumstances consistent with these goals and to make decisions that will bring about personal development. There are different approaches and methods for assessing these goals. The types of self-development goals range from images of the self to personal projects. This article examines methods for exploring the self-development goals of executives, because this is of particular relevance today. The findings suggest an instrument for exploring self-development goals for executives.
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To operationalize the construct of self-development, we need a theory which describes the structure and attributes of the development of the self. Baltes (1997) understands development as any change in the adaptive capacity of the organism. According to Baltes, the concept of development describes a joint product of gains and losses. Unlike Baltes (1997), here we specify development as a change in organic capacity in the sense of growth. With Daloz (1999, p. 23) development “… is more than simply change. The word implies direction”. In order to classify what we should understand as growth it is necessary to take into account subjective and objective criteria. Here we focus on objective criteria which are to be identified drawing on theories of self-determination, self-development, and subjective well-being.

A theoretical foundation for self-development is provided by Kegan’s theory of the ontogenesis of the self. Following Kegan the “self” refers to a system that creates meaning, a process to which subjective well-being is linked (Kegan, 1982, 2000). Fingarette (1963, p. 62) considers the creation of meaning as a process that reflects the personal existence, in which a person creates a new viewpoint that implies specific duties for that person.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Self: Meaning making system of the person.

Possible Selves: Representations of desired future states of a meaning making system of the person.

Hierarchical Integration: The extent to which personal strivings are helpfully linked to desired possible selves.

Executive: Person having administrative or managerial authority in an organization.

Aspirations: Long-term goals.

Development: Growth.

Strivings: Construct which unites phenotypically different goals or actions around a common quality or theme.

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