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The Behavioral Changes That Can Be Realized When Leaders are Exposed to the Theories and Metaphors Found in Quantum Physics

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TITLE: The Behavioral Changes That Can Be Realized When Leaders are Exposed to the Theories and Metaphors Found in Quantum Physics
 
RESEARCHER: David W. Godfrey
Department of Learning Technology
University of North Texas
Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation: August 2009

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this study was to test a proposed method for surfacing current Newtonian-based leadership behaviors and to provide the opportunity for leaders to replace them with behaviors derived from theories and metaphors found in the new sciences (i.e., quantum physics).

METHODOLOGY
The convenience sample of 32 engineering leaders participated in a self-paced reading program (online) that exposed them to a selection of quantum physics readings. They completed the Leadership Practices Inventory at the beginning and end of the program

KEY FINDINGS
Participants reported engaging more frequently in all of the five leadership practices on the posttest than they did on the pretest, and three of these were statistically significant: Model, Inspire and Encourage.

The author concludes:

The behavioral categories where significant finds were measured are encouraging and certainly fit the quantum physics mindset that the research was seeking to identify. The quantum idea that relationship are key is captured in the Encouraging the Heart category by leaders seeing the importance of recognizing contributions, sharing the spotlight and making people ‘feel like heroes.’ In the Modeling the Way category we again see relationship, the need to create network connections in complex bureaucracies and self–referencing during challenging times. Inspiring a Shared Vision show the understanding of the need for the transfer of information, cultivating the ability of individuals to self-referencing as well as total organizational participation. All of these connections between the behavioral categories and key quantum behaviors present at the beginning of Chapter 2, as well as the statistical measures give a practical value to the research effort (pp. 50-51).

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