Further- more, there may also be contexts in which researchers can better contribute to the discourse by working with only one or two qualitative methods in such an integral manner. As such, its primary purpose and function is to support the enactment of integral performances in relation to research—to support a global community of scholar-practitioners to conduct research from a sensibility that could be considered to be authentically integral.
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While in my view the inclusion of such multiple methods does indeed tend to support aspects of an integral sensibil- ity in relation to research, I also feel that it falls short of its purpose in a number of ways. A pluralism of data-perspectives that have not been sys- tematically and substantively interwoven into a coherent differentiated-integrated gestalt seems to be more closely aligned, in some respects, with a postmodern mode of knowledge acquisition than an integral one.
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 q Reflexively situated q Reflexively situated q Reflexively situated q Reflexively situated and informed at all and informed at all and informed at all and informed at all major phases of the major phases of the major phases of the major phases of the research process by research process by research process by research process by the IMP map and the IMP map and the IMP map and the IMP map and some of its some of its some of its some of its principles principles principles principles.
A spectral model of the four levels of Integral Research. These phases include research design, implementation, data analysis, interpretation, and validation. Martin , Wendelin M. In my view, Wilber a, offers a highly compre- hensive meta-methodological map that provides researchers with a systematic way to understand the inter- relationships between the various methodological families, yet integral researchers might do well to keep in mind that there are other noteworthy meta-methodological perspectives that might enrich our discourse and practice e.
In this way, level two Integral Research represents a convergence of a basic mixed methods approach with an approach Journal of Integral Theory and Practice—Vol. An additional key feature—and one that I would like to propose as crucial for levels two, three, and four and multi-method level one research —is that of substantive and systematic integration of discrete data sets. In many ways, as I have alluded to above, a pivotal promise of Integral Research is its potential to enact authentically integrated knowledge claims.
Level Three Level Three again holarchically includes the elements of the prior two levels while simultaneously integrating a more complex methodological element. In my view, unless there are theoretical or practical reasons not to do so, level three Integral Research should be the aim of all researchers. Clearly there is a kind of emergent jump in terms of the degree of methodological comprehensiveness that comes into being at level three, and my intention in offering this spectral model is certainly not to devalue the potential value of such perspectival span.
Level Four Level four in the spectral model refers to the relatively most comprehensive and complex form of Integral Research. Hopefully, as the various forthcoming research reports from this project are published, some light will be shed with respect to the operationalization of zones 5 and 7, as well as the structure of level four Integral Research in general. In this spirit, this section is a preliminary musing with respect to how we might begin to consider some of these issues.
I will begin by addressing the area of research design. Research Design With respect to research design, it is my intention to highlight what I see as the overarching descriptive- explanatory disposition in which the discourse of research design is generally embedded. As far as I can tell, research design is approached by most integral researchers largely in terms of its technical structural aspects e. In addition to the technical aspects of research, there are also normative and emancipatory aspects that I feel should be explicitly and consciously considered in the context of Integral Research design.
As such, I would propose that integral researchers creatively consider how research can be designed to synergistically serve deeper normative, emancipatory, and aesthetic interests. That is to say, we should ask ourselves how we can go beyond merely considering the technical adequacy of our research structure as a means to the end of effectively disclosing what is true descriptive , but also ask ourselves how we can do so such that it becomes morally good prescriptive and beautiful expressive in its broadest sense.
HEDLUND thereby activating the potential for Integral Research to become a more skillful means for the researcher to serve their own presumably worldcentric normative vision.
Integral theory (Ken Wilber)
Integral Research, when held as such, can transform the act of research itself from a drab modernist task of world-describing into a conscious, participatory process of world-enacting in service of individual and collective emancipation. Finally, I feel that the implications of such an enactive, emancipatory understanding of Integral Research are deep and far-reaching, and I am aware that I am only pointing to the tip of the iceberg.
Data Analysis Coding In relation to data analysis or coding, integral researchers to date have done little to explore the ways in which integral principles could be more explicitly and skillfully applied. What follows are some preliminary mus- ings with regard to how we might begin to do so relative to the principles of meta-patterning, non-exclusion, and enactment, beginning with meta-patterning. These elements of the AQAL model can be held, for purposes of coding, as major units of organization and can be coded for in the data.
For example, an integral researcher could code raw data e. One approach to applying the Integral principle of non-exclusion to coding that we have been developing at the Integral Research Center is that of reviewing the extant coding literature, identifying the many distinct methods, and then organizing those methods in terms of various elements of the AQAL model.
Furthermore, applying the principle of multiple perspectives within the context of these plus coding methods might suggest the value of making use of multiple coding methods relative to a single data pool. For example, one could choose a more inductive, grounded theory— oriented coding method to generate a number of initial codes or labels and then could apply a more deductive, theoretically structured approach to coding those labels into categories, then categories into themes.
At the very least, being aware of the multiplicity of coding approaches available could allow Integral Researchers to justify their choices and situate the partiality of their data analysis therein. Such an understand- ing of coding is grounded in an Integral Post-Metaphysical perspective that reality ontology is not simply a singular pre-given perception but can support multiple enactments methodology by inquiring subjects epistemology see Appendix A. In other words, ontological objects are brought forth through the structures of the epistemological subject and the methodological injunctions with which they are enacted and therefore disclosed Hedlund, , p.
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However, the extent to which this would be useful depends on a number of contextual variables, including the aims of the study, the audience in question, rhetorical strategy, and so on. This might also serve to increase the legitimacy of qualitative methods in par- ticular, which remain somewhat marginalized in the eyes of many traditional quantitative researchers. So, we have essentially three broad choices in terms of how we choose to relate to the issue of interiority: 1. Deny the rational and empirically demonstrable existence of subjectivity and intersubjectivity. This position is philosophically untenable and categorically incommensurate with a rational worldview.
Champion the existence of subjectivity, intersubjectivity, and the constructed nature of knowledge, claiming an epistemological relativism.
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Pragmatically, this largely derails the possibility of any meaningful descriptive-explanatory knowl- edge production and quickly implodes, often leaving a worldspace ridden with nihilism and other unsavory results. We as re- searchers are epistemologically fallible subjects and therefore valid theory remains open to new evidence and future interpretations from new perspectives: knowledge acquisition is necessarily an ongoing, iteratative, and dialogical process. Nonetheless, I feel that we should continue to increase the degree of transpar- ency that we are bringing to our studies.
As such, I hope to further situate my knowledge claims therein. On the one hand, there are domain-general validity claims, or meta-validity criteria, which allow us to make hierarchical distinctions between valid and invalid knowledge claims regardless of the particular object domain or hori- zone under investigation. Such universal meta-validity frameworks have been proposed by various theorists, all of which are necessarily rooted in some form of intersubjective, dialogical process.
Such validity criteria are primarily related to the idiosyncratic textures and contours associated with each distinct domain, or zone, of inquiry. So, a key issue for Integral Research has to do with the development of an operationalized framework with which to relate these validity criteria.
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HEDLUND Conclusion I began this article by underscoring the necessity for new integrative research frameworks that can help operate on and coordinate the cacophonous diversity of perspectives across boundaries—whether disciplin- ary, methodological, or otherwise. These research frameworks are needed in order to attempt to facilitate mutual understanding and multi-lateral action in relation to our urgent planetary problems. However, the need for further development in order to enact its potential was likewise articulated.
Next, I offered some cursory musings on how we might begin to do so by applying integral principles to those phases. Regarding research design, I discussed the value of the researcher considering 18 Journal of Integral Theory and Practice—Vol. In terms of coding, I discussed the need to explore how Integral principles e. I mentioned approaches such as quadratic and IMP coding, before offering some thoughts on enactment in relation to coding. Acknowledgments I owe my thanks to my co-researcher and beloved partner Annick de Witt, who made a number of important contributions to this article in terms of both content and process.
Finally, I would like to thank Lynwood Lord for all his work and support during the editorial process. Although this proliferation did tend to widen the sphere of valid inquiry in certain ways, inviting further inclusivity of diverse methods, it also tended to incite paradigm wars and has left the overall landscape of inquiry ridden with pervasive fragmentation. See Wilber a, b, c, d, a, b, c, d, e, , , Also see Wilber and Walsh Also, integral studies can be broadly construed to also include metatheory e. Reality ontology is not simply a pre-given perception but is enacted or cocreated methodology by the inquiring subject epistemology.
In other words, ontological objects do not exist apart from the structures of the epistemological subject and the methodological injunctions with which they are enacted and therefore disclosed. However, once they have been laid down, they do indeed exist independently of human interpretation. In short, we do not perceive a pre-given world, but interpret and therefore co-create reality; the perspective-methods including structured a priori categories we bring to any occasion actually enact or bring forth particular aspects of reality.
Without a detailed delineation of the conditions and procedures required to enact a particular reality, any ontic claims are essentially hollow metaphysics. Within this context I have brought my own background and embodied structures of consciousness the Who ; taken up an integrative synthesis of insight from critical realism, actor-network theory, science and technology studies, and ontological politics the How ; and focused on the global phenomenon of climate change as an exemplar of a multiple object the What.
Note there is a fractal quality to examining any one of the three variables. Kennedy University who have taken an Integral Research course. For example, with respect to the methodological family of phenomenology, there are a number of methodological traditions such as Husserlian phenomenology, systematic introspection, psychological phenomenology, and so on.
Within each of those methodological traditions, there may be a number of distinct methods e. IR makes use of multiple methods qualitative and quantitative as a way of exploring the multi-faceted and multi- dimensional nature of complex phenomena. It is an expansive and creative form of research, not a limiting form of research. Of course the more time and money you have the more robust your Integral Research can be. But Integral Research as I envision it democratizes the research process and makes it scalable so you can do it in an informal way or a formal way.
So, Integral Research can easily transform any research effort into an Integral one and it can obviously take more time and more money than even the most elaborate mixed methods approaches. For example, if one of the methods is framed as the primary method and the other two are framed as secondary methods i.
He and I are currently exploring how to redesign the course to allow more emphasis to be placed on the integration of multiple data sets and not just the collection of multiple data sets, as has been the case up until this point.
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So again, most Integral Research conducted to date would likely fall within the category of quasi-mixed. Due to their relatively informal and asystematic nature, some of the higher level demands such as systematic data integration may not be well-suited to this kind of inquiry. Thus, what is absent can be as important as what is present.
He includes perspectives; agency-communion; growth-integration; transformation-translation; relational exchange; and transition process pp.
In my view, these components could be seen as principles that could be applied in various ways to each stage of the research process. We bring a deep honoring of what Wilber has enacted through his writings and activities and an excited anticipation of any new writings he generates. He is without a doubt the most important theorist associated with Integral Theory and there is no reason to assume this will change anytime soon.
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He also notes that the notion of Integrally informed research has been implicit in how he has conceived of IMP from the time of its inception. For Wilber personal communication, May 25, , Integrally informed research is not necessarily linked to the use of multiple methodologies: Whatever method is chosen, and it can be anywhere from one to eight, it is done with all eight zones and perspectives in mind and its results are equally and likewise situated within all eight zones, so that guarantees integrated data… In any given project, Integrally informed research is not necessarily mixed.
The project could be just empirical—it could use just one of the 8 methods, if it is Integrally understood. So it is ideal to use all four quadrants or all 8 zones, but it is not necessary.
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