The usefulness of the Enneagram model in The Netherlands: An overview of Enneagram explanations and the usefulness as ascribed by Dutch Enneagram coaches and managers
until further notice
[S.l.] : [S.n.]
Number of pages
Radboud University, 26 september 2017
Promotores : Nijs, W.F. de, Blomme, R.-J.
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SubjectInstitute for Management Research
The Enneagram Model (hereinafter: EM) was never evaluated scientifically in The Netherlands, while the model is being used by Dutch managers and coaches since the millennium. The EM is a model that is able to communicate psychological values and spirituality. The management might use the EM in order to implement Business spirituality (hereafter: BS). This is a free choice at the moment. However, the expectation is that BS will become far more important. Several BS studies showed that BS has a positive value on the organisation as a whole as on the wellbeing of the employee. Therefore, research to the preconditions of the EM has strategic value. The research to the usefulness of the EM as ascribed by Dutch Enneagram managers (hereinafter EMAs) and Enneagram coaches (hereinafter: EPs) was used to explore two theories in the field of BS and religious sociology. The central research question was: What is the ascribed usefulness of the EM according to Dutch EMAs and EPs? There was no theory available, so a qualitative research design was chosen for. The Grounded Theory Approach (hereinafter GTA) was used in order to explicate a theory. This technique is normally seen the best choice. The manifest- and latent usefulness was mapped thanks to keeping interviews and a double coding process. The EM has no one, single explanation, so, a comparing literature study was needed to create an overview of different EM explanations. The focus of the EM research was primarily on the usefulness as ascribed by EMAs, but also EPs participated; the EM is far and foremost a coaching model. In order to be able to evaluate the ascribed usefulness of EMAs in a right perspective that does do justice to the research object, the EPs joined also in the EM research. Six EM blood groups were identified. The nine numbers on the EM circle can be labeled differently so that different explanations arise. Two dominant EM explanations types were compared with each other, namely: the psychological EM and the spiritual EM. They are both recognized as a coaching model in The Netherlands. It became clear that in the psychological EM the EM-type represents the personality. Improvement of the EM type behavior is possible thanks to optimization of identification with the EM-type. The spiritual EM states that the personality is a blockage in the experience of spirituality. Improvement takes place through practicing meditation which precisely implies de-identification with one or more EM types. Dutch associations of professional coaches were advised based on the results of this EM research. The manifest and the latent EM-usefulness were mapped. The EM is very useful in their work, according to nine Dutch EMAs. They felt energized, they developed a better relationship with their employees, and gained a wider support within the organisation, thanks to the use of the model. Their personal qualities became clear and they were able to defend their type related preferences. They developed from a directive style of management to a coaching style of management. Furthermore, the EM enhanced the relational atmosphere at home and their experience of the quality of life. Some preconditions were: integrity and discretion in use, and a sufficient level of involvement with the model. The EMAs indicated that more scientific research to the application of the EM into companies is highly welcome. Twelve Dutch EPs stated that the EM is a very good coaching model that brought focus to questioning, and pointed the attention to the essence. A prerequisite in the teaching of the model is the (mother) language in which the model is explained. EPs indicated that the longer they used the model, the more they preferred a spiritual explanation of the model above a psychological explanation. The latent usefulness is explicated in key words. The role of the EM in the lifecycle of EMAs was: work deepener, communications improver, and a guard of the personal boundaries. EPs named issues as: vitality/destination model, pattern breaker, and an accelerator of personal development. Two theories were explored thanks to the research. Firstly, the research explored the theory of Fry in a prerequisite of spiritual leadership; the spiritual need of the employees had to be recognized, in order to be able to implement BS. The EM research made clear that the recognition of one's dominant EM-type (A) is already a form of personal development (B), so, there is no strict separation between the recognition of the needs of the employees and the implementation of spirituality (A≡B), as Fry supposed. Further, the research made clear that the manager has to join firstly a process of personal development before spirituality can be implemented into the organization. The manager is unable to recognize the spiritual needs of the employee without this preliminary process. The survey also explored the theory of spirituality as explained by religious sociologists Knoblauch, Heelas, and De Hart. This theory concerned specifically Western Europe. Spirituality can be seen as a relevant environment variable of the organization. The content of the theory is that employees are only willing to join a management treatment if this is seen as internally legitimate. The research revealed that thanks to the EM-typing process the core qualities of a person became much more clear, so, the question of inner legitimacy can be answered in a more responsible way. However, the research didn’t confirmed that spirituality is a searching process. The process that was put in motion was rather a process of personal development than a process in which different forms of spirituality were combined with each other, in the case of the use of the EM. So far this summary.
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