The Tavistock Learning Group: Exploration Outside the Traditional Frame



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In The Tavistock Learning Group: Exploration Outside the Traditional Frame, authors Clive Hazell and Mark Kiel attempt to expand the heuristic, theoretical, and applied dimensions of Group Relations paradigms by pairing classical Group Relations concepts with typically non-Tavistock psychology paradigms and social sciences concepts. Under the broad domain of psychologically-informed constructs, Lacanian psychoanalysis, existential philosophy and bioenergetics are applied.


Under a somewhat broader range of social science conceptualization, the capacity for abstraction is linked with anti-work in groups, the large group is re-imagined as an extension of community dynamics and dysfunction, and the role of symbol systems, symbology and semiotics are examined in relation to sophisticated work groups. Lastly, non-Tavistock models of group development and conceptualization are re-interpreted and explained using a group-as-a-whole framework.

Much work in this field has been based on one or two paradigms, notably stemming from the work of Rice (Learning for Leadership), Bion (Experiences in Groups), and Klein (Envy and Gratitude and Other Works). While these models and their extensions are indeed useful, the authors argue that it is time to introduce new paradigms to enrich the interpretive possibilities of this field and to increase its applicability to modern and postmodern contexts.

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