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Dependence and Independence

These ideas can be interpreted in many ways, from, e.g. physical, emotional, intellectual development, moral values, and sociological, e.g. political, economic and legal perspectives.

As we develop through childhood, puberty and maturity we are expected to become more independent. But at any given time an individual will be dependent to a particular degree, for example, on the educational system, the social welfare system, on an organisation for paid employment, and on family. Independency within a dimension will depend on the power (in terms of position, resource, expertise and personal power) that the individual has developed and which are valued within that culture.

In typical Western culture and organisational forms, to be independent is usually regarded as strength. Conversely, to present as dependent is often construed as weakness. Person specifications for most senior jobs include the criteria of ability to work independently, and candidate success in selection for such a job can be closely linked to how they present against that criteria. The degree to which this generalisation will apply depends on the cultural and organisational context, and we should certainly question this for the social enterprise

Q. How do you react to this analysis? Given this discussion what does this imply about you and others operating within a social enterprise, where the recognition of interdependence will be very important?

[see my response]