Postdoctoral Business School Student Contributes to International Book

Postdoctoral student at the Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L) Dr Kriyanka Moodley has authored a chapter emanating from her doctoral research for a prestigious Canadian publication.

Moodley’s chapter, based on her doctoral thesis supervised by Professor Kriben Pillay, makes a unique contribution to the experiential dimension of the consciousness model for leadership and innovation known as Theory U.

Building on Pillay’s own doctoral work in the practice of nonduality – the philosophy of non-separation – Moodley examined how the behavioural mindful intervention known as Inward Looking can assist in breaking down mental models which obscure our ability to see in a non-fragmentary way.

Pillay said this was crucial research that spans all human activity, not just leadership and innovation.

‘It’s obvious that mere book learning is not solving manifold human problems impacting so severely on us and the natural world. Theory U is about igniting a change in consciousness that takes us out of the dehumanising materialistic paradigm and reasserts something basic to all human beings – holistic consciousness, rather than the fragmentary, self-centred mental complex – as the source from which we function and where separation is replaced by inter-being,’ he said.

‘It’s very heart-warming as a supervisor when your fairly young doctoral graduate achieves this kind of recognition from international peers who are leaders in the field of alternative perspectives in leadership,’ added Pillay.

On her achievement, Moodley said getting the chapter into an acceptable format as a conversion from her thesis had been an arduous two-year journey.

‘I learnt a lot about the difference between what is expected in a thesis and what is required in a book chapter. The work has to be reconceptualised for a different readership, in this case, both scholars and practitioners, yet still remain critically robust. As a novice academic author, I learnt a lot in the process,’ she said.

Professor Olen Gunnlaugson of the University of Laval in Canada and the editor of Advances in Presencing, said in her chapter Moodley brought an unconventional perspective of integrating a more accessible non-dual perspective into expanding upon the context of presencing and Theory U.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga
Photographs: Supplied