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Human Energy and Immaterial Communication: The missing link for Inspirational Leadership?

  • Humanistic Management Center

Abstract and Figures

Why does Harvard Business Review consider the article ‘Pygmalion in Management’ from the 1970s as one of the best in the area of Motivation, and yet there has been negligible research about this topic in the field of leadership? Probably because the Pygmalion Effect can only be studied using complexity sciences. This paper covers the scientific discoveries in the field of human energy in the last century, and connects them to an interdisciplinary analysis of quantum mechanics, bio-fields, neuroplasticity, and epigenetics, in order to give novel explanations of how the Pygmalion Effect happens and how it is essential to understand leadership and vanguard management. Hence, a new leadership soft-skill is constructed: immaterial communication. This new leadership construct is helping reduce the 86% rate (Gallup, 2013) of disengaged workers around the world. A descriptive proposal of operationalizing Immaterial Communication is presented at the end. Keywords: Management Innovation, Complex Theories, Business Transformation, Business Communication, Interdisciplinary Leadership.
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Carlos Largacha-Martínez
International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
Human Energy and Immaterial Communication:
The missing link for Inspirational Leadership?
A Theoretical Paper
Carlos Largacha-Martínez
School of Management/International Business/Research
Fundación Universitaria del Área Andina
Bogotá, 110121, Colombia
Why does Harvard Business Review consider the article ‘Pygmalion in Management’ from the
1970s as one of the best in the area of Motivation, and yet there has been negligible research
about this topic in the field of leadership? Probably because the Pygmalion Effect can only be
studied using complexity sciences. This paper covers the scientific discoveries in the field of
human energy in the last century, and connects them to an interdisciplinary analysis of quantum
mechanics, bio-fields, neuroplasticity, and epigenetics, in order to give novel explanations of how
the Pygmalion Effect happens and how it is essential to understand leadership and vanguard
management. Hence, a new leadership soft-skill is constructed: immaterial communication. This
new leadership construct is helping reduce the 86% rate (Gallup, 2013) of disengaged workers
around the world. A descriptive proposal of operationalizing Immaterial Communication is
presented at the end.
Keywords: Management Innovation, Complex Theories, Business Transformation, Business
Communication, Interdisciplinary Leadership.
Jim Collins said that almost all ‘Level 5’ great leaders had a “charisma bypass”, which means that
the traditional idea of personality as a foundation of leadership is wrong. Collins boldly stated that
“we should never confuse charisma with leadership… they are very, very different ideas”1. Terry
Mollner (2010:171) stated that when Father Arizmendithe founder of the biggest, most
profitable, and most sustainable cooperative in the world, Mondragontalked to his employees,
people almost fell asleep. These cases challenge the traditional idea of mammoth leaders, with a
great look, great communication skills, and a big charisma that hypnotizes people only with their
presence. That was, and still is, the traditional imagery of a leader (see Mintzberg, 2010; Collins,
2001). The challenge is that Collins and his team found that from Fortune 500 companies list in a
30-year period, only eleven companies achieved that greatness. One of the seven patterns that
made these eleven companies great was having a humble leader. When Collins and his team
wrote the book “From Good to Great”, this was shocking for the academic and management
establishment. Still is. The idea that humility and not hypnotizing-charisma was the source of
great leadership was not consistent with 30 years of research studies on leadership.
How can a humble, merciful, introverted human being become so powerful that can lead
companies like Gillette and Walgreens towards huge successes? Talking about Darwin Smith,
the CEO who transformed in the 70s Kimberly-Clark, Collins stated that, compared to Lee
Iacocca and Jack Welch, “Darwin Smith seems to have come from Mars. Shy, unpretentious,
even awkward”. Collins continued and affirmed that “if you were to consider Smith soft or meek,
you would be terribly mistaken. His lack of pretense was coupled with a fierce, even stoic, resolve
1 Hesselbein Leadership Academy University of Pittsburg. Talk given by Jim Collins about ‘Level V Leaders’. Visit Surfed April 2016.
Carlos Largacha-Martínez
International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
towards life” (Collins, 2001:138). Complementing this reality, Owens and Hekman’s research
about humble leadership, based on real business cases, established three distinctive behaviors in
leaders: Admitting mistakes and limitations, modeling teachability, and spotlighting followers’
strengths and contributions (2012:792). If we carefully analyze Collins, Owens and Hekman, and
Mollner research, a very important leadership soft-skill emerges: inspiration. It can be found in
relevant leadership literature and research (see Mintzberg, 2010; Collins 2001; Hamel & Breen,
2012; von Kimakowitz, 2011; Koznes & Posner, 2008; Goleman, 2005; Secretan, 2003; Senge,
1995). However, the ‘inspiration’ construct is a difficult one for the social sciences. How can a
manager inspire a colleague or a group? Are we missing something? Do we have to include
human energy when talking about inspirational leadership?
Several challenges arise with these questions. If it is a soft-skill, then it has to be a competency,
meaning an “observable and measurable knowledge, skill, ability or personal characteristic”, as
the National Research Council of Canada defines it. So it must be measurable. The NRC states
that Inspirational Leadership is about energizing and creating a sense of direction and purpose
for employees and excitement and momentum for change. It involves energizing individuals to
strive towards a compelling vision of the future” (NRC, 2019). Measuring and having a scale for
an ‘energized individual’ is a conundrum. Mankins and Garton (2017) have been working on
highlighting the importance of time, talent, and energy in successful businesses, and developed a
list of 33 traits that can be traditionally measured. This could explain why Eric Garton (2017), in
his Harvard Business Review article, stated that while anyone can become an inspiring leader
(they’re made, not born), in most companies, there are far too few of them”. Management and
business argot is filled with words like ‘power’, ‘mindfulness’, ‘energizing meetings’ and so forth,
but traditional academia does not know how to grip immaterial competencies. That explains why
we need an alternative and interdisciplinary approach to better understand how to become an
inspiring leader, and to complement the recent literature, which is the main goal of this paper.
But this inability of traditional management academia is not new. In the 1970s, Sterling Livingston
wrote ‘Pygmalion in Management’, a classic in management literature. So, why does Harvard
Business Review consider the article ‘Pygmalion in Management’ as one of the best in the area of
Motivation, and yet there has been negligible continued research about this topic in the field of
leadership? As mentioned before, immaterial competencies are hard to analyze with Newtonian
approaches. We need to use complex sciences and vanguard scientific discoveries that are
‘hidden’ for the traditional management discipline, as it happened with Livingston’s ideas of
inheritance. To close the gap on this subject, this paper will first cover Livingston’s main ideas,
the framework of a non-traditional inspirational leadership understanding, and the need for
management discipline. Then, the main scientific discoveries in the last 50 years are discussed in
order to find the relationship with an immaterial inspirational leadership competency, which
creates a new construct that can close this gap: immaterial communication. Finally, the results of
this paper clears the way for other scholars to consider a more holistic research approach, e.g.
Peter Seng research work, and include immaterial competencies in their theory and practice.
Stearling Livingston stated that the Pygmalion Effect was “what managers expect of subordinates
and the way they treat them largely determine their performance and career progress”
(Livingston, 2003[1969]:98) what can be explained as the “Power of Expectations” (Ibid., 100).
Positive expectations, or the Pygmalion Effect, have direct consequences in the performance of
coworkers. The highest the expectation, the highest the performance will be. The Pygmalion
Effect, or self-fulfilling prophecy, is the mental image a leader has about their subordinates and
co-creates the reality that emerges by the subordinate on their performance. Harvard Business
Review’s editors wrote that the Pygmalion Effect “has been confirmed so many times, and in such
varied settings, that it’s no longer even debated” (HBR, 2003:97). Starling Livingston made
another important, but underestimated finding about the Pygmalion Effect. Positive expectations
are somehow communicated to the employee, but science has had the challenge to explain how
this communication happens. Which senses are used? Is it part of the verbal or non-verbal
Carlos Largacha-Martínez
International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
communication? Or is it another channel that we use? If yes, which one? Thus, Livingston (2003
[1969]:100) found some appealing evidences, since he stated that it was “virtually impossible for
them [leaders] to mask their expectations because the message is usually communicated
unintentionally, without conscious action on their part”. It is challenging for traditional science to
explain this. Maybe this could explain why this line of research has almost stopped in traditional
management scientific journals.
More than five decades ago, in the ‘Best in Motivation’ book by Harvard Business Review,
several leadership topics were covered, like empowerment, Management by Objectives (MBOs),
and intrinsic motivators. It is interesting to highlight that these three topics have had much more
development in the last decades that the Pygmalion effect had. For example, an EBSCO search
of ‘Pygmalion effect’ only shows 291 cases in more than 60 years in all EBSCO databases.2
Compare this to the 736,477 cases after putting ‘leadership’ in the search, or 99,691 when putting
‘leadership’ in the title of all EBSCO databases3. If we search only the word ‘Pygmalion’, in the
‘Abstract/title’ option in all Academy of Management Journal issues, only 7 cases appeared4. As
stated, we need a different approach to put into the management discourse immaterial soft-skills.
Based on interdisciplinary vanguard science, we know today that this ‘unconscious
communication’ from leaders was not a ‘hidden’ message in non-verbal communication. It is
rather an intentional message using immaterial competencies. Why immaterial competencies are
important in the field of leadership? As mentioned before, the power of positive or negative
expectations and the inspiration are highly relevant topics. Thus, every leader must work on
developing this soft-skill, and every corporation should develop training sessions, so immaterial
competencies are part of the skills needed in their workplace. Not doing so, just because it is a
new construct, creates the risk of having a low impact within all the development skills workshops
structured in a company, as Chris Argyris (2010) and Edgar Schein (2013) firmly stated. If
companies want to increase engagement, motivation, innovation and productivity, Argyris
(2010:17) argued that it won’t be possible if “people get trapped in the same pattern of
behaviour”. And, even worse, Argyris (Ibid, 88-117) revisited almost all the ‘state-of-the-art’
leadership theories and practices developed in the last three decades (i.e. transformational
leadership, developing leadership competencies, leading effectively with conflict, personality
types, appreciative inquiry, competing commitments) and his conclusion is worrisome, since “no
advice for dealing with such issues [engagement, non-defensive behaviour, change, better
communication] is given”.
Concomitantly, Edgar Schein argued, in line with Argyris and Collins, that we need to give a
countercultural switch to the traditional Leadership approach. Schein specifically worked on
communication, and stated that “we must become better at asking and do less telling in a culture
that overvalues telling” (Schein, 2013:3). Since asking “arouses positive helping behaviour in the
other person” and it is based on feelings, humble inquiry, curiosity, and interestwhich are all
linked with positive expectations and inspiration arousal approachthus a milieu of psychological
safety is created (Ibid, 19). Schein concluded that “what differentiates this form of inquiry is that it
influences the other’s mental process” (ibid., 43). As a summary, these important elements
mentioned so far are part of immaterial competencies: Mental processesSchein; non-defensive
communicationArgyris; and authenticity & humblenessCollins.
The reality is challenging. Alternative approaches to leadership are needed since the
management has to be enhanced with state-of-the-art approaches. For example, to name such a
few, in the ‘Global Human Capital Trends 2015’, Deloitte’s team showed their latest research
2 The unstructured search was conducted putting the world ‘leadership’ in all EBSCO databases search in all text and you get
623,901 cases, with ‘engagement’ you get 188,651, and with ‘communication’ 2,941,127. However, if you enter ‘intuition’ you
get 16,886, ‘mindfulness’ 7,074, ‘ESP (extra-sensorial perception)’ 387. Going deeper, with ‘intuitive communication’ you get
134, with ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ 1,465, with ‘observer-expectancy effect’ 4, and with ‘Pygmalion effect’ 291. With
‘immaterial communication’ we got 3 cases. Search results obtained in Universidad EAN’s databases using EBSCOhost on
internet on January 15th, 2016.
3 Search conducted in January 2018 using Universidad Católica de Colombia’s EBSCO databases.
4 Search conducted in July 2016.
Carlos Largacha-Martínez
International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
about how to lead in the new world of work5, “one that requires a dramatic change in strategies
for leadership, talent, and human resources” (May, 2015:2). The overall results of this
research pose several challenges. The top priorities for corporations are culture, engagement,
and leadership. However, the bigger gaps between global importance and readiness of the
organization are in these two critical management elements. They are the most important, 78%6,
but the gap with readiness is the biggest too, 47 points for culture and engagement, and 42 points
for leadership (Ibid, 4). This clearly means that corporations know what they need to focus in
terms of talent and human resources, but they don’t know how to do it. Billions of dollars are
invested in corporations around the globe to ‘develop leadership skills’ (Argyris, 2010) and the
end result does not meet the expectations (Hamel & Breen, 2012).
In addition, people change more rapidly than the cultural organization. It is not only about
millennials, is about what engages people. Deloitte found that “today’s workers have a new focus
on purpose, mission, and work-life integration” (May, 2015:37). Career ambition is not the
driver anymore. Leaders need to truly inspire their colleagues. Engagement is a complex
construct, closely linked to inspiration, motivation, dialogue, and authenticity (see Kouzes &
Posner, 2008; Csikszentmihalyi, 2008; Maslow, 1968; Largacha-Martinez, 2014). All of them are
part of interdisciplinary leadership. Engage means to be involved in order to “establish a
meaningful contact or connection with …”7. A new mindset, attitude, behaviour, and skills are
needed. The data show that companies are not ready for this challenge since 93% of Deloitte’s
companies don’t have a structured engagement program and/or policies. This means that these
companies have poor programs in terms of “measuring, driving, and improving engagement and
retention” (May, 2015:36).
The traditional management mantra of ‘command and control’ has given humanity great
achievements, but we are paying a big price so “perhaps the time to renegotiate the deal has
been reached”, as Gary Hamel & Bill Breene (2012:11) reflected. This explains why Hamel wrote,
“management is obsolete” (Ibid.).
Although immaterial communication is a new construct, it was built upon former scientific
research, presented within their disciplines in the next list: flow & positive psychology
(Csikszentmihalyi, 2008); self-actualization (Maslow, 1968); intuitive intelligence (McCraty &
Zayas, 2014; Bradley, 2008); emotional intelligence (Goleman, 2005), intuition (Osho,
2007); biofeedback and biofields (Vernon, 2005; McCraty, 2003; McTaggart, 2001); emergence
and human fields (Senge, 2004), humanistic management (von Kimakowitz,,
quantum/non-lineal management (Zohar, 1990; Wheatley, 1992), asking in dialogue vis-à-vis
telling (Schein, 2013); social leadership (Goleman & Boyatzis, 2008); reinventing management
(Hamel & Breen, 2012); relational intelligence and communication (García & Sanhueza, 2013);
positive vulnerability (Brown, 2015); neuroplasticity (Doidge, 2007; Arrowsmith-Young, 2012);
uncertainty and strategy (D’Souza & Renner, 2014); transcending managerial mindsets (Argyris,
2010); Pygmalion effect and/or the self-fulfilling prophecy (Livingston, 2003; McNatt, 2000), which
can also be found as the interpersonal expectancy effect (Rosenthal, 1997). This list helped to
create Figure 1, where six elements are important to create better the bridge between
management and interdisciplinary approaches.
5 Here is a brief overview of the sample used in that research: ‘The research described in this report involved surveys and
interviews with more than 3,300 business and HR leaders from 106 countries done in 2015. All the data from this research can be
viewed by geography, company size, and industry using an interactive tool, the Human Capital Trends Dashboard’. This tool is
available at
6 Also “An overwhelming 87 percent of respondents believe the issue is “important,” with 50 percent citing the problem as
“very important”—double the proportion in last year’s survey.” (May, 2015:35).
7 Apple Dictionary version 2.2.1. (2005-2011).
Carlos Largacha-Martínez
International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
FIGURE 1: Immaterial Communication. Developed by the Author.
In Figure 1, the interdisciplinary scientific foundations of the immaterial communication are
included and, in the right column, the management elements that emerge or are interiorized by an
inspiring leader. These six management elements, although not presented in this article, are
highlighted. The reader can connect the bridge between the scientific foundations and the
leaders’ soft-skills. If the reader wants to dwell more onto these topics, here is a brief list of the
salient authors in the six salient topics: humbleness: the work of Jim Collins and the AMJ’s article
by Owens and Hekman; for holistic thinking the work is done by Peter Senge and its associates
at MIT and SoL, plus Chris Argyris; for emotional intelligence Daniel Goleman will be the leading
one, going also to his latest ‘social leadership’; for authenticity, the work done by Brene Brown
using her social work approach, plus the interesting work done by positive psychologists like
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and the work done by Murphy and Largacha-Martínez in quantic
humanism; about the mind, more than works on the mind for immaterial communication is more
important being mindful about the mind, so the work done by Howard Gardner and his MIT’s
theory is relevant, plus the work is done by Rollin McCraty at the HeartMath Institute; and last for
not least, Abraham Maslow’s superb work on self-actualization is also scrutinized.
The scientific foundations of the immaterial competencies are presented in the following
paragraphs highlighting their interconnectedness and the links to the leadership arena. Since the
new construct immaterial communication is holistic, none of the four is more important than the
other, and they are not defining all the elements and constituents of immaterial communication,
because that is impossible in a holistic approach. The four pillars of immaterial communication
are: quantum mechanics, molecular biology, neuroplasticity, and biofields.
Based on scientific discoveries and in an interdisciplinary analysis (see Radin, 2006; Lipton,
2008; Sheldrake, 2009; Livingston, 2003), immaterial communication for me is a third way of
communication that humans have based on bio-resonance, where people are able to perceive
and decode the immaterial information embedded in humans’ energy. It fully enhances the verbal
and non-verbal communication channels. Immaterial Communication can be paralleled as the
communication that humans can recognize, except that they are not able to explain it using the
five senses. For example, perceiving that someone is staring when you have your back to him
(see Sheldrake, 2013). In immaterial communication, people start saying words like mind, energy,
human chemistry, intuition, and faith. Bio-resonance and/or scalar waves are based on the
science of Nikola Tesla and Konstantin Meyl (2003). Human scalar waves are based on the
discoveries by Nikola Tesla, since he “proposed two types of energy existed in the cosmos:
scalar and electromagnetic energy” (BCL, 2019) (see Meyl, 2001). Furthermore, “bio-resonance
is based on receiving the information from a living organism that gives out energy. The term
Carlos Largacha-Martínez
International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
energy is used to describe the various subtle frequencies or vibrations that each one of us emits
constantly.” (BCL, 2019; see Saatchi, 2018; Hennecke, 2012).
The next parts are the scientific interdisciplinary approaches that helped create this new construct
immaterial communication and its link with inspirational leadership. These four scientific
disciplinesquantum mechanics, molecular biology, neuroplasticity, and biofieldshave a
common pattern: they are relational in nature.
3.1. Quantum Mechanics
Everything is entangled, so you cannot talk about independent, objective elements in the
universe. If you want to know something about A, you need to know about B, and C. If you try to
know B without knowing the attributes of A, A disappears, does not exist and does not have any
attribute. Daniel Bell demonstrated that interconnectedness is a reality. Thus, there are is not
independent stuff in the universe (Cushing & McMullin, 1989; McTaggart, 2001). Objectivity,
measurable causation, and neutrality are no longer possible in the quantum world. These have to
be redefined and deconstructed. Non-locality, irreducibility, and indeterminism are the new
mantras for society and should be applied to leadership and management. Hence, non-locality or
non-separability (Bell), the indeterminacy of position vis-à-vis momentum (Heisenberg), and
complementarity of opposites (Schrödinger) are highly salient. In a nutshell, Morales (2002, págs.
4-8) presents what he called the ‘bombs’ to modernity:
“Principle of complementarity—“a corpuscle can behave as a wave or a particle”;
principle of uncertainty—“breaking from the sort of certainties proposed by Isaac
Newton”; anthropic principle—“the observer modifies the experiment with his/her
observations”; Nonseparability—“pristine and autonomous laws, in short, do not exist”;
Acausality—“atoms appear and disappear through a process that is spontaneous and not
casual”; complexity—entropy leads to higher orderly complexity; ubiquity—“particles
behave in such a way that they can be found in many places at once”; Morphogenetic
fields—represent “modalities of structures, rules, behaviors ideas and tendencies, each
one informing particular aspects of reality”; the existence of “A” and “Not-A” at the same
time, or fuzzy math; beauty as the corroboration of the relevance of a theory, or Brian
Greene’s “elegant universe”; the universe as a hologram, “that is, each part contains the
whole”; manifest and implicate order, from Bohm’s theories; no distinction between
matter and energy, mind and body.” (Ibid.)
In a way, almost all of these concepts are present in the immaterial communication and
crisscross with the other three scientific foundationsbiofields, neuroplasticity, and epigenetics.
As stated, it is not possible to know the all the attributes of a thing, because their constituent
elements are not independent Thus, all of the essential elements balance one another and
cannot be isolated. Non-Locality is very relevant for immaterial leadership competencies. The
locality has been present in Newtonian versions of reality in the last centuries, meaning that only
elements that ‘act inside’ the site have to be taken into consideration. However, with this quantum
discovery, the ‘butterfly’ effect is understood to be immediate and widespread. The result is that
once A & B interacted, they will continue to be interconnected forever (Nicolescu, 2002, pág. 17),
no matter how distance they are from each otherchallenging Einstein’s speed of light theory.
J.S. Bell’s theorem was demonstrated in 1982 (Herbert, 1987) which gives scientific foundations
for interdisciplinary approaches or holistic ones. For example, the self-fulfilling prophecy or
Pygmalion effect.
Founded in non-locality David Bohm developed the theory of the implicate/explicate order (see
(Bohm, 2002) (Wilber, 1982)). In the implicate dimension, attributes cannot be observed but must
be intuited, similar to Jung’s “collective unconscious” (Jung, 1976) (O’Murchu, 2003, pág. 57).
This kind of intuition is what Livingston found in management last century, and it is the basis for
immaterial leadership competencies. Holism “is not a landscape of facts or objects, but one of the
events, of process, movement, and energy. In this creative flow, past, present, and future are
indistinguishable” (O’Murchu, 2003). Ken Wilber (1982, pág. 3) presents the “holographic reality
Carlos Largacha-Martínez
International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
where “the brain is a hologram perceiving and participating in a holographic universe”, and the
theory “establish the “supernatural” as part of nature draw on theoretical mathematics” (Ibid,
5). This holographic-holistic rendition of attributes is scientifically proven by the Field Theory
Sheldrake’s morphic resonance—where fields are understood as “nonmaterial regions of
influence” (O’Murchu, 2003, pág. 67).
As Lynne McTaggart reminded us of all the quantum discoveries, “quantum mechanics had
demonstrated that there is no such thing as a vacuum, or nothingness” (2001:19) which united
with the nonmaterial regions of influence, give us a strong foundation for the existence of
immaterial communication as one key soft-skill in inspirational leadership. In the end, McTaggart
(2001) concluded that everything is energy, and everything is connected by fields, quantum fields.
A leader’s thought, as Levinsgton found, is energy that can influence positively or negatively
worker’s behavior. In the coming sections, more occurrences of quantum mechanics are present,
emerging in synergy and interaction with the other three scientific disciplines, making immaterial
competencies a necessary interdisciplinary reality.
3.2. Molecular Biology
Molecular biology is also challenging several deep-seated beliefs, like the one that states that
your DNA is the one that gives an imprint on your siblings. Wrong. It is the magical membrane8
as Bruce Lipton calls it. Are cells conscious? And if they are, does consciousness help explain
the immaterial communication that humans have between humans and the environment? The
answer is yes. That discipline is called epigenetics9. As Bruce Lipton (2008, xiii, xiv) said in the
prologue of his book The Biology of Belief, “it is a single cell’s “awareness” of the environment
that primarily sets into motion the mechanism of life” so “the character of our lives is determined
not by our genes but by our responses to the environmental signals that propel life”.
As stated, if you want to develop the Immaterial Communication managerial skill, one of the
pillars is authenticity, which emerges as an outcome of a positive vulnerability approach towards
life, i.e. optimism, resilience, perseverance, contemplation. The challenge is that positive
vulnerability fuels authenticity which fuels empowerment but 99% of the world population “is still
operating from antiquated and disempowering beliefs about being victims of their genes” (Lipton,
2008:xvi). In the end, your “cells respond to your thoughts” (ibid), and that is a very vanguard
argument. So your thoughts, your expectations, affect the cells of your workers, as with the
Pygmalion effect, and the mirror neurons as the biological basis of empathy (Goleman &
Boyatzis, 2008).
A consequent challenge is that Immaterial Communication will only occur if self-actualization is
present. Self-actualization emerges when the individual has a deep sense of worthiness. A deep
connection to the collective unconscious must be alive. This ‘deep sense’ does not mean that the
human being has to be an expert in self-knowledge. What it means is that the person is open to
the possibility of the existence of the connection between herself and the holistic reality around
her. And by opening her-self, then self-actualization can emerge, then immaterial communication
starts to ‘exist’, to be present. Lipton (2008:xxviii) puts this, from a molecular biology perspective
stating that “positive thoughts have a profound effect on behavior and genes but only when they
are in harmony with subconscious programming”. Hence, opening yourself demands a positive
vulnerability approach, and in that space, a connection to your deeper sense of being alive
emerge, or the subconscious programming.
The challenge appears when Lipton (2008:7) scientifically demonstrates that cells are “imbued
with intent and purpose” and capable of learning, create memories and “pass on to their
8 Lipton (2008:45) refers to the magical membrane as “the mechanisms by which your body translates environmental signals
into behavior”, and into beliefs.
9 “Epigenetics is the science of how environmental signals select, modify, and regulate gene activity. This new awareness
reveals that the activity of our genes is constantly being modified in response to the life experiences. This again emphasizes
that our perceptions of life shape our biology”. And Lipton (2008:xv, xxvii) continues stating that the “environment (nature)
influences the behavior of cells without changing the genetic code”.
Carlos Largacha-Martínez
International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
offspring”. That is why Lipton’s most famous book is called The Biology of Belief’. Aren’t beliefs
the bedrock of paradigms, of behavior and of corporate culture? So, shouldn’t managers pay
attention to these issues if they want to be excellent, Level-5 executives, according to Collins
classification? No wonder that the bedrock of corporate executive excellence lies in humbleness.
Being humble is a need for opening yourself. Humility is a belief/attitude/behavior sine qua non
for immaterial communication success. Humble leadership is a strong trait and not a signal of
weakness. Switch your mind.
Systemic thinking is now being part of molecular biology. This should be applicable to the field of
management too (Senge, 2005; Senge 1994; Mackey & Sisodia, 2014). In fact, cooperation
and observable relationships in animals are part of a new discipline called ‘Systems Biology’.
What is interesting is that formerly ostracized biologist, Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck, is now being
right in his theory. And what is more astonishing is that Charles Darwin was wrong, just as with
Einstein’s story before. Challenging the traditional modernituos10 paradigm is a must if immaterial
communication can emerge as a possibility. Hence, “we need to move beyond Darwinian Theory,
which stresses the importance of individuals, to one that stresses the importance of community
Evolution becomes a matter of the survival of the fittest groups rather than the survival of the
fittest individuals.” (Lipton, 2008:15).
This applies also to companies. Among the authors who have a team-approach for decision
making and strategy, like Morning Star, Vagas, or Semco11, just to name a few, the financial,
sustainable, and engagement results are outstanding (von Kimakowitz, 2010; Hamel & Breen,
2012; Mackey & Sisodia, 2014). Without doing anthropomorphism, the idea here is that
immaterial communication is based on the relational understanding of the human being, and
human flourishing only occurs and emerge when accepting that it is with the Other that I become
deeply human (Largacha-Martinez, 2011). Therefore, before covering neuroplasticity and its link
with immaterial communication, it is worth citing a long paragraph by Lipton where he unites
almost everything written so far and confirms the relationship with the new construct presented in
this paper, immaterial communication.
… the research will … confirm what scientists and nonscientists already “know”
… : all organisms, including humans, communicate and read their environment
by evaluating energy fields. Because humans are so dependent on spoken and
written language, we have neglected our energy-sensing communication system
(Lipton, 2008:90).
Isn’t the energy-sensing communication system a solid foundation for immaterial communication?
In this paper the two terms are used as synonyms.
3.3. Neuroplasticity
To complement the big picture of Immaterial Communication, it is relevant to cover the vanguard
scientific discoveries of neuroplasticity or the plastic brain. First, in parallel with cellular biology,
Immaterial Communication challenges the status quo, the machine-view of reality. Second, it
complements the quantum view of reality as well as the interdependence of our biologic being
with the environment. Third, since Immaterial Communication is so arcane to several minds, it is
important to have leverage in order to change managers’ deep-seated beliefs. This is the main
role of neuroplasticity. And fourth, if we believe in Immaterial Communication, in its positive
impact in inspirational and authentic leadership, and in the malleable structure of the brain, a set
of ‘brain exercises’ must be developed to enhance executive training and organizational behavior.
Neuroplasticity is a concept that states “that the brain is inherently plastic” (Arrowsmith-Young,
2012:9). As Dr. Bach-y-Rita argued, “we see with our brains, not with our eyes” (Doidge, 2007:15)
10 The use of the word ‘modernitous’ is preferred that ‘modern’ since the message of the latter is about technological advance,
not related to the mindset of the epoch, Modernity (see Largacha-Martinez, 2011).
11 Although there are books about these companies, you can find business cases and other material in the webpage of the MIX,
the LBS, Mckinsey & HBR initiative. See
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International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
or, to put it simply, is “an attempt to use one sense to replace another” (Ibid, 12). Neuroplasticity
goes against the traditional beliefs of ‘localizationism’, which is the idea that if you pinpoint one
area of the brain, something will happen in your body. Or the other way around, everything your
body does has an instantaneous representation in an area of your brain, which has been called
mental maps. These ideas are part of mechanistic biology.
Brain plasticity has been researched for more than two centuries, but the modernitous paradigm
ostracizes it. There are scientific studies from 1820s when Marie-Jean-Pierre Flourens showed
that the brain “could reorganize itself”; in 1868 Jules Cotard experimented with children with
massive brain disease who could speak even if the Broca area was damaged; in 1876 Otto
Soltmann worked with infant dogs and rabbits that were able to move even after motor cortex
removal; however, all “these findings were submerged in the wave of localizationist enthusiasm”
(Doidge; 2007:17-18). Even in 1783, there are records of anatomist Michele Malacarne doing
research in birds about the “impact of exercise in the brain” (Arrowsmith-Young, 2012:13). It was
in the 1970s that Mark Rosenzweig, from the University of California at Berkeley, scientifically
demonstrated neuroplasticity by showing that changes in the structure of the brain were possible
(Doidge, 2007).
The scenario is a positive one. There is hope. If we want Immaterial Communication to be part of
the soft-transcendence skills of top management around the world, the idea that only some
gifted’ people are able to achieve it, or people who were born with that competency, is outdated
or needs to be deconstructed. It is clear that leadership is a mix of nature and nurture, but nurture
plays a big role here (Collins, 2001; Hamel & Breen, 2012). Since organizational change deals
with a culture nurtured by beliefs and habits, it is encouraging to know that the ‘bad habits’ in
almost all corporations can be deeply-changed, leading to the Immaterial Communication and the
set of desired managerial skills.
However, the scenario becomes tricky and ironic. Harvard Professors Kegan and Lahey (2009:2)
discovered that change is not a matter of will. The challenge lies in the “inability to close the gap
between what we genuinely, even passionately, want and what we are actually able to do”. Going
deeper, why don’t people normally walk the talk? The answer also lies in what Chris Argyris and
his team found after documenting more than 10,000 cases of executives around the world,
concluding that “theories-in-use are not the same as espoused theories”. They continue stating
that “It is not that people are incompetent in achieving the results they desirein fact, they are
quite competent: but what they are competent at is avoiding threatening and embarrassing
situations” (2010:60-61). People espouse theories of promoting trust and dialogue within
organizations (the talk) but, actually, their actions (the walk) go against that, because people act
“in ways that undermine those values in order to defend the self” (Ibid. 65).
Isn’t Argyrisargument extreme? How can changing a behavior threatening? A new identity must
emerge to deeply change my behavior and my beliefs. This change challenges years of
traditional ‘command & control’ socialization and education. In a nutshell, this change makes us
feels vulnerable, and modernituous socialization is based on happiness, perfection, and achieving
the ‘ideal’. Instead of valuing mistakes as one step in the path of perfection, we created
companies that control everything in order to avoid imperfection, but the contrary happens. If
Immaterial Communication is needed in an organization, dialogue must be part of the culture and
positive vulnerability12 part of the managers’ mindset. After years of research, Brenè Brown
(2015) found the quantum essence of vulnerability. On one side, there is shame, fear and
vulnerability. On the other side, there is wholeheartedness, authenticity, and courage. Positive
vulnerability parallels Csikszentmihalyi’s approach to Flow and Maslow’s idea of self-
Management needs to tackle this. We need to change the public optimism in people development
when what really happens “is a deep-seated private pessimism about how much people really
12 Brené Brown does not use the words ‘positive vulnerability’, but I used this source to highlight the differences.
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International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
can change”. Neuroplasticity definitely can help, since today “hard and soft scientists agree that
the story of mental development does not need to end in adolescence” and that today “neural
plasticity and the phenomenal capacities of the brain to keep adapting throughout life” is a fact
(Kegan & Lahey, 2009:3,5,13).
This is a paradox. People want to change, but does not want change. This parallels the plastic
paradox since “the property of plasticity can give rise to both flexible and rigid behavior”. Life-
activated brain circuits create solid mental paths that are difficult to change; hence, a “significant
amount of energy is required to reshape old thought patterns and institute new practices”
(Arrowsmith-Young, 2012:10). One of the first steps is to change our beliefs. As Brazilian
Semco’s CEO Ricardo Semler argued, if you want innovation in management you need to have
faith in it, tacitly talking about cellular biology. Nobody said it was easy, but you can create new
mental maps and do what you need. Second, we can create new brain exercises in your daily
leadership activities. As neuroscientist Michael Merzenich puts it, mental maps are dynamic, but
an orderly topographic brain map emerges because “many of our everyday activities involve
repeating sequences in a fixed order (Doidge, 2007:56,65). Is there any parallel among traditional
corporate structures? No wonder Jim Collins argued that 95% of corporations still practice Taylor,
Fayol, Ford and Weberish practices. Third, we need to be mindful of the change we want, since
Merzenich “discovered that paying close attention is essential to long-term plastic change” (Ibid.
68). This challenges multi-tasking and helps explaining the growth of mindfulness as a new
managerial practice and skill. We need to reinvent management, as Gary Hamel always affirmed.
Merzenich makes the key question “What if it were possible to reopen critical-period plasticity?”
(Ibid.,83). Since Merzenich scientifically demonstrated that plasticity extends into adulthood, this
is a task for management, and for the emergence of immaterial communication. The work of
Merzenich and Kilgard on nucleus basalis resulted in a massive expansion of brain maps.
Without a direct approach to neuroplasticity, the work conducted by MIT’s research teams lead by
Peter Senge (SoL), and by Otto Scharmer (U-Lab) proved the existence of human flourishing and
the fact that adult behavior change towards more humane organizations. Isn’t human flourishing a
proxy for neuroplasticityor the other way around? In this paper, it definitely is.
The personal story of Barbara Arrowsmith must be highlighted here since she was able to create
from scratch some exercises to change her brain, as her book is titled. And she succeeded.
Hence, we need to create some exercises to re-brain and change the executives’ mindset. The
Quantic Humanism Initiative-QHI13 has been working on this matter. In 2016, at QHI, Surf-
Managementa vanguard consultancy companybegan a project using heart variability,
neuroplasticity, quantic humanism, and the insights of cellular biology. This ongoing research is a
real application of immaterial communication, and will be presented in the Future Research final
part. Also, this parallels neuroscientist Lara Boyd’s work at the Brain Behavioral Center, at the
University of British Columbia14. Dr. Boyd, who directs the center, is scientifically researching
brain plasticity in students with learning challenges at Eaton-Arrowsmith school in Vancouver15.
Some relevant questions are: What is consciousness? How can we correlate brain, mind, and
cells from a quantum perspective? Is it worth to bring consciousness to the research? Yes, it is
definitely worth it. Being mindful of the mind and/or being aware of the mind, in this paper is
considered a proxy for consciousness. Although in this paper a short description of
consciousness is included, the main focus of consciousness is about its energy nature. By
approaching consciousness from the energy constituency, the correlation with brain, mind,
molecular biology, neuroplasticity, and quantum mechanics emerges naturally as a holistic
Danah Zohar (1990: 75) argued in her book The Quantum Selfmaybe the first sociological work
using quantum mechanics—that “if holism is to have real meaning, any teeth, it must be
14 Visit
15 See
Carlos Largacha-Martínez
International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
grounded in the actual physics of consciousness, in a physics that can underpin the unity of
consciousness and relate it both to brain structure and to the common features of our everyday
awareness. I think that to achieve that, we must turn to quantum mechanics”. Some writers, even
Karl Popper16, argued that consciousness is a quantum process (see Zohar, 1990; Eccles, 1994;
Herbert, 1987: 248ff; Zukav, 1979: 222; Lupasco, 1983: 123ff).
In this regard, Zohar (1990: 23) seems to be on the right track when she states that she “shall be
considering very seriously the possibility that consciousness, like matter, emerges from the world
of quantum events”. In this full partnership with nature (Ibid: 43), Zohar recalls the research that
has been done and supports scientifically that reality is spaceless and timeless, at least for
energy and consciousness (Ibid.: 36). This hybridization of quantum mechanics and human
consciousness is called in quantum physics “contextualism”, and the importance of this change
cannot be overestimated (Ibid.: 47). This is what has been referred to before as the observer-
created-reality; or as Zohar (Ibid.: 44) said that “reality happens depends on how we look at it”.
This image transcends claims that reality is socially constructed, yet does not describe a type of
meta-reality. Instead, such a reality is ambivalent, since quantum events coexist with
consciousness, whatever the source of that consciousness17. Therefore, persons are co-creators
of the universe. Karl Popper makes a similar point by stating that dead matter seems to have
more potentialities than merely to produce dead matter” (as cited in Zohar, 1990: 58).
In quantum experiments with electrons, similar to the often-cited dual slit, the electron is
“nonlocally responsive to the information latent in the whole situation”, which can be
understood as another type of awareness, as Bohm also argued (Ibid.: 60). The hypothesis here
is that humans have a sense to ‘communicate’ or ‘perceive’ this latent information, and the
closest type of such communication is intuition, empathy or immaterial communication. Having a
holistic perception means doing what electrons do, which would represent another style of
cognition or consciousness. With respect to quantum mechanics, Bell’s theorem, and Rupert
Sheldrake’s field theory—Seven experiments that can change the worldthere is a large
repertoire of information that supports this link between consciousness and reality.
3.4. Biofields & Bio-Coherence
Field theory is very important and relevant if we want to ‘connect the dots’. For several physicists,
quantum entanglement is the most outstanding experiment of the 20th century. Entanglement
must be part of the picture if we aim to explain Immaterial Communication and everything stated.
Dean Radin (2006:16) argued that “bioentanglement—quantum connections within and among
living systems—will be useful in explaining the holistic properties of life itself”. This is tied to
human consciousness since in the vanguard scientists arena they “suggest that the remarkable
degree of coherence displayed in living systems might depend in some fundamental way on
quantum effects like entanglement” (Ibid., 2). Radin continued by arguing that “conscious
awareness is caused or related in some important way to entangled particles in the brain”. Radin
ends this idea by stating that some scientists propose that an entire universe is a single object,
which is the end result of deep research conducted by Lynne McTaggart, where she showed that
the Zero-Field-Force has been scientifically demonstrated, which means that everything is
connected and everything is energy.
It is worth to note that these ideas parallel Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer’s findings in terms of
innovation in management. Specifically, in their book “Presence”, with the support from Joseph
Jaworski and Betty Sue Flowers, they argued that “everything we have to say in Presence starts
with understanding the nature of wholes, and how parts and wholes are interrelated” (Senge,, 1994:5). This leads to being fully conscious, which explains why mindfulness must be part
of the emerging manager for the 21st Century. They concluded that “we came to see the
16 Karl Popper makes a contribution to John Eccles’ book “How the self controls its brain” (c1994), where Eccles and Popper
use quantum mechanics to explain that the selfthe mindactually starts the act, and then the brain follows that “order”.
17 “Take seriously suggestions by philosophers and physicists like Alfred North Whitehead and David Bohm that even
elementary subatomic particles might possess rudimentary conscious properties” (Ibid.: 52).
Carlos Largacha-Martínez
International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
importance of letting go old identities [and] Ultimately, we came to see all these aspects of
presence as leading to a state of “letting come”, of consciously participating in a larger field for
change”. This letting come can be also understood as letting go, which is the basis for
humanistic management (Largacha-Martinez, 2014). At the end, “when this happens, the
field shift and the forces shaping a situation can move from re-creating the past to manifesting or
realizing an emerging future” (Senge, 1994:14).
Biofields are also part of Otto Scharmer ideas about a Theory-U, where an open mind, open heart
and open will emerge as part of a dialogical co-constructed reality. In this socially-field
constructed reality “a place of deep reflection and stillness” exists, directing all of our energy to
“practices of co-sensing, co-inspiring, and co-creating” (Scharmer & Kaufer, 2014:199,201). The
idea or action of co-sensing can also be understood as co-perceiving. In this scenario, immaterial
communication is in synergy with the co-perceiving skill or sense that humans have. But the
words sensing and perceiving are presented here as a relational reality. Not they can be real, in
principle, only as interactions, they can’t exist in isolation. Humans can’t, in principle, sense or
perceive something alone, independent of anything else outside. Even thoughts are part of a
relational reality with the context. This biofield reality is also presented by Laudisa and Rovelli as
relational quantum mechanics. What is stressed in the study conducted by Laudisa and Roveli
(2002) is the absence of any absolute states, values, or events in the identification of a
phenomenon. Physical quantities and states, on the other hand, are described to be tied to an
interaction with an observer or between two or more systems.
The key idea of Relational Quantum Mechanics (RQM), in fact, is that the notion of “being”
disappears; an entity, in other words, does not exist sui generis in an undisturbed state. Although
each phenomenon exists, the specific measurement (identity or quantity) of each one is affected
by the other (Laudisa and Roveli, 2002: 2). Any phenomenon that exists is actualized as a result
of the interaction between two or more systems that cannot be disentangled, except for merely
analytical/abstraction purposes. Hence, all attributes are accidental, in that they depend on
interaction rather than essential qualities. Implicit in RQM is the awareness that total or complete
self-measurement is impossible (Laudisa and Roveli, 2002: 5). Hence, it is a paramount to talk
about ‘co’-sensing, and ‘co’-perceiving. Immaterial Communication emerges as a co-emergence.
Otto Scharmer calls it ‘presencing’, which led to the creation of U-Lab18.
All the aforementioned concepts have been studied for more than three decades by the
HeartMath Institute19 to prove that biofields are real and vital in order to understand human
interactions. Albeit they have focused more on the biofields of the heart and its interaction with
the brain and the whole body, Dr. Rollin McCraty worked on the bioelectromagnetic
communication among people and founded the ‘energetic heart’. McCraty argued that “most
people tend to think of communication solely in terms of overt signals expressed through facial
movements, voice qualities, gestures and body movements. However, evidence now supports the
perspective that a subtle yet influential electromagnetic or “energetic” communication system
operates just below our conscious level of awareness” (2012:7). In this energetic communication,
McCraty showed the specialized literature in several areas, i.e. physiological linkage and
empathy, cardioelectromagnetic communication, the electricity of touch, and the heart-brain
synchronization during nonphysical contact. He also revealed research that parallels Lipton’s
biology of belief, since McCraty showed that there is an “influence of heart’s bioelectromagnetic
field on cells” (Ibid:14).
When McCraty talks about biofields and empathy, there is a close connection with the research
conducted by Daniel Goleman about what he calls ‘social leadership’, as a vital foundation of
social skills. Goleman and Boyatzis (2008) coined the terms ‘biology of empathy’ and ‘biology of
leadership’. They found that mirror neurons “operate as neural Wi-Fi, allowing us to navigate our
social world”. This Wi-Fi parallels the biofield concept included in this paper. The authors argued
18 Visit
19 Visit
Carlos Largacha-Martínez
International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
that “when we consciously or unconsciously detect someone else’s emotions through their
actions, our mirror neurons reproduce those emotions” which, at the end, this reproduction of
emotions is part of our immaterial communication. As a holistic reality, in regard to perception and
action, Goleman and Boyatzis concluded that “collectively, these neurons create an instant sense
of shared experience”. They called this social intelligence, where “a set of interpersonal
competencies built on specific neural circuits … inspire others to be effective” (2008:76).
The aforementioned concepts can be complemented with Rupert Sheldrake’s research (2009;
2013). The author conducted scientific research to demonstrate the existence of the
morphogenetic fields, which can be defined as the “coming into being of characteristic and
specific form in living organisms” (Sheldrake, 1995:19: cited by Needham). This means that “new
structures appear which cannot be explained in terms of the unfolding or growth of structures
which are already present” (Ibid.19). Hence, as stated, there is immaterial information in the field
of the global earth that humans can perceive. The morphogenetic fields “help account ... the
coming-into-being” (Ibid. 12) of life, energy, and inspiration.
Before presenting the Conclusion of this article, it is relevant to express that the four elements
presented herequantum mechanics, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, and biofieldsare not
supposed to be an anthology of all the scientific discoveries already proven to demonstrate the
existence of the immaterial communication, and that humans have a sense to perceive
information embedded in energy and vibrations. This is, to the best of my knowledge, one of the
first times that an interdisciplinary approach is used to theoretically prove the existence of human
radionics or human bio-coherence applied to leadership and management. Thanks to this, I was
able to create the new soft-skill construct called immaterial communication. The right question at
this juncture could be around this: how can this be measured and applied to organizations and
human life in general? The final paragraphs achieve to explain this.
More managerial approaches, think tanks, and scholars state that we should transcend the
traditional management frameworks. For instance, and just to name a few, Conscious
Capitalism20 discusses purposeful leadership; the Center for Creative Leadership21 is developing
a novel leadership model that includes four elements: inner content, circuitry, conscious
engagement, and behaviors; Otto Scharmer argues that the Theory-U22 must be implemented in
all dialogical practices in organizations; HBR, LBS, and McKinsey created the MIX23, where hacks
and novel management ideas are included in a web 2.0 fashion; among others like Holocracy,
Self-management Institute, Humanistic Management Network, B-Corporation, and Worldblue.
The paradigm shift is happening.
It is highly relevant for today’s society with humongous challenges to put all the soft- skills and
competencies in the models that corporations are developing. Why, because it is not unwise to
state that globally we are experiencing a disengagement epidemic24 , and interdisciplinary
leadership void. In the Kenexa 2012-2013 Engagement Report, not a single country from North
America or Europe were ranked in the ‘High-percentile, > 70%’. Except from Denmark, all
countries fall in the ‘moderate’ or ‘low’ engagement percentile. In addition, the studies conducted
by Tower-Watson (2010) and Gallup (2013) show that 70% to 86% of the total workers are
24 See “The Many Contexts of Employee
Engagement”, A Kenexa WorldTrends Report.
Carlos Largacha-Martínez
International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
uninspired and disengaged with their activities25working just for the pay check. This has a clear
and direct impact on productivity and emotional well-being. During 2011, the UK’s Prime Minister
launched the ‘Employee Engagement Task Force’, because if the UK moved its engagement
levels to the middle of the top quartile “this would be associated with a £ 25.8bn increase in
GDP”26. The social challenge blighting the US and Europe urgently needs tackling with an
innovative application.
Could be stated that immaterial communication could help reduce this business epidemic? It
would be naïve to answer positively. However, as stated throughout the whole article, this soft-
skill definitively will help open new doors for human development and leadership strengthening.
As stated during the article, in 2016, Surf-Managementa vanguard consultancy company
began a project using heart variability, neuroplasticity, quantic humanism, and the insights of
cellular biology to do prototyping for measuring immaterial communication. They called it OCI
Organizational Coherence Index. This ongoing research is a real application and
operationalization of immaterial communication, so it needs further development and future
research is needed.
In order to construct the OCI, four scholars, very close to this immaterial communication
research, selected two proven tools from one American company and one German one. This
selection was after a review of what the markets offered in 2016. Both had the scientific
background, long-time application, and R&D27 departments for permanent innovation. Also, both
used vanguard science. The Inner Balance® and Mars-III® were selected, from HeartMath
Institute 28 and BruceCopen 29 , respectively. After that, the R&D unit of Surf-Management
Company started a 2-year long process that ended in 2018 with a service to be offered to
companies around the world30. The OCI, as mentioned.
The next stage was to do a piloting. The OCI is a 120-long questionnaire about soft-skills needed
in an organization, including the immaterial communication. This questionnaire emerged from the
synergy of the holistic management model by the Colombian Chapter of the Humanistic
Management Network, with the eastern model by Tai-Chi organizational coach and director of
Stresstech Inc. Later, the expert in using MarsIII uploaded the questionnaire into the quantum
machine. In the coming four months four pilots were done in four Colombian companies, ranging
from 5 employees to 250. Because of space, it is difficult to present all the information here. Also,
this is an ongoing research and Surf-Management does not allow to describe all in this article.
What can be said is that using the logos of the four companies, the quantum technology
measured the energy vibrations of each question and a number from 0 to 100 emerged. The
consultants of Surf-Management then wrote a report.
Once with the owners of each company, collectively the report was read. After that, the
consultants asked: what is the correlation between what you just read and the experienced reality
in your company? The answers were: 85%, 85%, 95%, and 80%! This is science. Future
research is needed to be sure that was measured is what actually the machine measured. This
research, coupled with the quantum epistemological framework where this research is founded
Quantic Humanismwould help us create a novel ontological approach towards leadership soft-
skills competencies. It would also help us to map a holistic view of the interconnections between
material communicationverbal and non-verbal, and immaterial communication.
25 See Towers Watson at
Towers-Watson-Global-Workforce-Study and/or Gallup’s
workplace.aspx surfed at 2014.
26 Ibid.
27 See and or
28 Visit
29 Visit
30 Visit
Carlos Largacha-Martínez
International Journal of Business Research and Management (IJBRM), Volume (10) : Issue (4) : 2019
Also important for the future research of this novel construct is to control for cultural and time
variables. Even though the work by several scholarsdone around the world, mainly Western
Northern countriesare used here, in addition to the global business cases researched and
published by the Humanistic Management Network, that confirm empirically that immaterial
communication is a human sense/phenomenon, it would be important to continue this research in
the future taking into account the subtleties of culture and management paradigms.
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... It would thus be interesting to study the relationship between CSR, innovation and organizational culture. Furthermore, a new leadership soft skill is seen to exist called immaterial communication [84]. This new leadership construct, which diminishes the rate of disengaged workers [84], could also be linked to CSR and innovation practices within the firm, thus making for another avenue for future research. ...
... Furthermore, a new leadership soft skill is seen to exist called immaterial communication [84]. This new leadership construct, which diminishes the rate of disengaged workers [84], could also be linked to CSR and innovation practices within the firm, thus making for another avenue for future research. Finally, other studies could focus on CSR, innovation and startups in other regions, such as Central and Eastern Europe [85]. ...
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The environmental, social and technological developments of the past few years have increased the research on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Strategic Innovation. Both influence the company's reputation, its employees' motivation, its customers' perceptions as well as other stakeholder's decisions. However, most academic research is conducted in large firms or small and medium-sized enterprises. This article focuses on the relationship between CSR and strategic innovation in the startup context. As a result, this paper analyses to what extent does CSR influence strategic innovation and how do startup CEOs and founders perceive this interrelation? Furthermore, what effects does CSR have on employees' motivation, company reputation and performance? In a full state of emergency over COVID-19, we conducted 15 semi-structured interviews with founders and CEOs of startups based at the University of Aveiro Incubator. The contacts were established through digital platforms, such as Hangouts and Zoom, and through cellphone calls. All of the interviewees had an idea of what CSR is, namely it is about the idea of contributing to society. Eleven of the interviewees agreed that innovation can be a motivating factor for practicing CSR. If a company combines CSR with innovation, it can differentiate itself and become more competitive, the interviewees revealed. All of the entrepreneurs defended that CSR can indeed improve employee motivation and performance. We also, herein, propose a model and perceive benefits from having startups report on their CSR efforts, which should be measured, including in relation to their innovation impact-and regarding the innovation culture and capacity for innovation of the firm.
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While organizations have become central for thinking and structuring contemporary social action, existing perspectives on what they are and how to deal with them are still rooted in modern ideas about the foundations of society. The chapters in this volume take critical narrative inquiry — inspired by postmodern or post-human approaches to organizations — as a broad range of research and development strategies that challenge the dominant perspectives prevalent in the organizational literature. The purpose of the volume is three-fold. Firstly, a critical reading of organizations foregrounding notions of power and ethics is presented. Secondly, a new framework for understanding and analyzing organizational action based on critical notions of storytelling and sustainability is unfolded. Thirdly, the framework is deployed through innovative concepts and learning methodologies for leadership, organizational, or community development. The authors engage in philosophical and theoretical reflections on the ways contemporary organizations work. They also present and analyze case studies of power, storytelling and learning in organizations. As a whole the book provides examples of what can be done to make organizations work in more appropriate ways in the future. (Imprint: Nova)
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This paper will focus on electromagnetic fields generated by the heart that permeate every cell and may act as a synchronizing signal for the body in a manner analogous to information carried by radio waves. Particular emphasis will be devoted to evidence demonstrating that this energy is not only transmitted internally to the brain but is also detectable by others within its range of communication. Finally, data will be discussed indicating that cells studied in vitro are also responsive to the heart’s bioelectromagnetic field.
In this newly updated edition, Sheldrake shares years of research into telepathy, the power of staring, remote viewing, precognition, and animal premonitions. Drawing on more than 5,000 case histories, 4,000 questionnaire responses, and the results of experiments on staring, thought transference, phone telepathy, and other phenomena carried out with more than 20,000 people as well as reports and data from dozens of independent research teams, Sheldrake shows that these unexplained human abilities — such as the sense of being stared at — are not paranormal but normal, part of our biological nature. He reveals that telepathy depends on social bonds and traces its evolution from the connections between members of animal groups such as flocks, schools, and packs. Sheldrake shows that our minds and intentions extend beyond our brains into our surroundings with invisible connections that link us to each other, to the world around us, and even to the future.
Unlabelled: A decade ago in these pages, Goleman published his highly influential article on emotional intelligence and leadership. Now he, a cochair of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations, and Boyatzis, a professor at Case Western, extend Goleman's original concept using emerging research about what happens in the brain when people interact. Social intelligence, they say, is a set of interpersonal competencies, built on specific neural circuits, that inspire people to be effective. The authors describe how the brain's mirror neurons enable a person to reproduce the emotions she detects in others and, thereby, have an instant sense of shared experience. Organizational studies document this phenomenon in contexts ranging from face-to-face performance reviews to the daily personal interactions that help a leader retain prized talent. Other social neurons include spindle cells, which allow leaders to quickly choose the best way to respond to someone, and oscillators, which synchronize people's physical movements. Great leaders, the authors believe, are those whose behaviors powerfully leverage this complex system of brain interconnectedness. In a handy chart, the authors share their approach to assessing seven competencies that distinguish socially intelligent from socially unintelligent leaders. Their specific advice to leaders who need to strengthen their social circuitry: Work hard at altering your behavior. They share an example of an executive who became socially smarter by embracing a change program that comprised a 360-degree evaluation, intensive coaching by an organizational psychologist, and long-term collaboration with a mentor. The results: stronger relationships with higher-ups and subordinates, better performance of her unit, and a big promotion.
This book questions why organizations often do not function effectively, focusing on leadership, cultural change, and organizational design. It considers how organizations often espouse a particular objective and yet frequently employ means of implementation that contradict that objective. The book illustrates how dysfunctional behaviour abounds in organizations and conflict is frequently avoided rather than dealt with openly, with the same arguments erupting repeatedly. It argues that people who feel like victims at work are not trapped by some oppressive regime, but they are trapped by their own behaviour; they themselves are responsible for making the status quo so resistant to change. The book reflects on the controversies that previous researchers have encountered on the subject: on the one hand, there is substantial agreement that these traps are counterproductive to effective performance, but on the other hand, there is almost no focus on how organizational traps can be reduced. The book ultimately concludes that whatever theory is used to understand such situations, should be used to implement interventions that prevent them.
The Key to Effective Communication Communication is essential in a healthy organization. But all too often when we interact with people—especially those who report to us—we simply tell them what we think they need to know. This shuts them down. To generate bold new ideas, to avoid disastrous mistakes, to develop agility and flexibility, we need to practice Humble Inquiry. Ed Schein defines Humble Inquiry as “the fine art of drawing someone out, of asking questions to which you do not know the answer, of building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person.” In this seminal work, Schein contrasts Humble Inquiry with other kinds of inquiry, shows the benefits Humble Inquiry provides in many different settings, and offers advice on overcoming the cultural, organizational, and psychological barriers that keep us from practicing it.