Group as a Whole: Learning for Leadership, Authority and Organisation

Author(s) : Lionel F. Stapley

Group as a Whole: Learning for Leadership, Authority and Organisation

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : June 2024
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 188
  • Category :
    Organisational Psychology
  • Catalogue No : 97605
  • ISBN 13 : 9781800131231
  • ISBN 10 : 1800131232
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The focus of this volume is on groups. The approach taken is to study groups from the perspective of the group as a whole, which provides a totally different perspective from studying individual actions and relationships in groups. The book begins with pre-conference activity, particularly the need for ‘authority’, and a discussion on the importance and understanding of the group as a whole. The subsequent chapters follow the usual structure of IGO group relations conferences (GRCs). The aim is to develop a deeper understanding of group relations learning but it is in no way a substitute for the vital learning from experiential opportunities provided by actual GRCs, which is rich and valuable because it happens in the here and now in our direct experience. The book is an excellent introduction to GRCs for the novice and ideal for those who have attended GRCs to explore their own experiences and emotions. The learning opportunities provide powerful insights to individuals and other group members. Everything that happens at a GRC is done for the learning of the members.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Lionel Stapley has written an illuminating book reflecting on his rich experience over the years of working with, and consulting with, groups and organisations. His book is as practical as it is analytic. Freud and Bion originally observed that group membership creates individual and group regression. What is described as a metaphorical return to primitive, infantile-like, group dynamics, which along with anxiety and ambivalence, produces not only a return to the primary group but revisiting earlier relationships, particularly a regression to the object of the mother. In sum, in consultation to groups and organisations, Stapley highlights focusing on the level of group itself, the idea of the “group as a whole”.’
Michael A. Diamond, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri; distinguished member, International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations (ISPSO)

‘We are living in times of seemingly intractable conflict between and within nation states. Group relations in this context are marked by tribalism, polarisation, identity politics, scapegoating, and contempt for the Other. Learning about group relations and gaining deep understanding of the psychodynamics provoking extremist behaviours is as relevant now as when first initiated by the Tavistock Institute over seventy-five years ago. Lionel Stapley’s “group as a whole” four-day experiential workshop is an exemplary model for group relations learning. The book is a comprehensive manual on the theory and practice of the author’s IGO consulting model of group relations conferences. It is a welcome addition to the field and particularly useful for consultants wanting to develop their knowledge of consulting to experiential group relations events.’
Jinette de Gooijer, PhD, socioanalyst, past president, Group Relations Australia

‘The work is absolutely impressive. It covers the entire field of conscious and unconscious processes, which includes many useful descriptions of relevant dynamics. An admirable work which covers every possible manifestation of understanding institutions.’
Anton Obholzer, emeritus CEO, Tavistock and Portman clinics; organisational consultant, INSEAD and internationally

Table of Contents

The Context of Group Relations Learning
An Overview and Deeper Understanding of Group Relations Learning
1. Group as a Whole
2. Consultancy Skill and Knowledge
3. The Small Study Group
4. The Large Study Group
5. The Intergroup Event
6. Review and Application Groups (RAG)

About the Author(s)

Lionel Stapley PhD is an organizational consultant and the Director of OPUS (An Organisation for Promoting Understanding of Society) an educational charity that seeks to encourage the study of conscious and unconscious processes in society and institutions within it. He heads up the OPUS Group Processes Program; and is an organisational consultant working in the public and private sectors in the UK and in other countries with individuals, groups and sometimes whole organisations. He has a particular interest in organisational culture and change. He is also a member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations, a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development (CFIPD), and a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Management (FCIM).

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