Systemic Work with Organizations: A New Model for Managers and Change Agents

Author(s) : David Campbell, Author(s) : Keith Kinsella, Author(s) : Tim Coldicott

Part of The Systemic Thinking and Practice Series - Work with Organizations - more in this series

Systemic Work with Organizations: A New Model for Managers and Change Agents

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Systemic Work with Organizations explores a powerful new perspective on the challenges faced by managers and consultants who work in large organizations. Building on principles and methods originally developed in the family arena, the authors show how an emphasis on connection, context and communication can help managers and others involved in change, deal with issues of identity, leadership, and learning faced by staff in today's complex work environment.

The main thesis is that one way cause and effect thinking and a central focus on the role of the individual, is no longer sufficient. Managers and change agents now need to make use of the insights and interventions offered by a systemic perspective that highlights the roles played by circularity and reflexivity in how people construct shared meaning in human systems.

In early chapters the three authors develop bridges between the family and organizational fields, exploring the ideas and methods of systemic and constructionist thinking in preparation for the three detailed case studies which illustrate systemic thinking in action. Concluding chapters pull together the strands to present a view of the stance and methods of constructionist consulting, the authors' version of the systemic approach.

The complementary focus on relations and meaning in human systems offers managers the opportunity to use insight from a broad range of other disciplines to improve their contribution to resolving challenges faced by public and private organizations. The approach offered is a practical one and will be of interest to managers, consultants, and change agents who wish to improve their understanding of the complex worlds they now work in.

About the Author(s)

David Campbell was a consultant clinical psychologist based at the Tavistock Clinic in London. In addition to a clinical practice, he developed training courses in supervision, professional doctorate research, and Master's-level family therapy training. He established a long-standing international practice as a management and leadership trainer and organizational consultant.

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