Kegan and Commons: A Comparison

This paper is a comparison of two human development theories, Kegan’s Subject-Object Theory (SOT) and Commons’s Model of Hierarchical Complexity (MHC).  Despite representing two of the most divergent approaches to the discipline, their work is found to contain many similarities including a complexity-based scale, corresponding stages, high generalizability, and a common intellectual forefather.  This exploration of their similarities and differences is organized into three parts: the assumptions, the models, and the process of human development.  A reflection follows as to why one has had a vastly greater impact on the human development field than the other.