A history of group study and psychodynamic organizations
Fraher, A. L. (2004) A history of group study and psychodynamic organizations. London: Free Association Books. ISBN 9781853437045
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Many people hold a piece of the puzzle of group relations, yet few people are able to put them together in a meaningful way. In this breakthrough study, Amy L. Fraher provides the most comprehensive account yet written of the history of institutes of group study. The book draws on original documents as well as extensive interviews with key practitioners. The result is a fascinating story of the complex dynamics of organizational life. Developing the construct of idea organizations designed to generate intellectual concepts, rather than to produce goods or services Fraher examines the psychodynamic workings of the National Training Laboratories, Tavistock and A.K. Rice Institutes, as well as early psychoanalytic societies. She shows how the innovatory forces that energize these idea organizations can become the focus of inter-group rivalries, creating a cycle that puts the organizations themselves at risk. Fraher details the cycle of idea organizations through the contributions of experts in the field such as David Armstrong, Gordon Lawrence, Isabel Menzies Lyth, Laurence Gould, Eric Miller, and Kathleen Pogue White, and others. She also uses A.K. Rice's previously unavailable field notes and director's reports to provide a documented overview of group relations theory and conference methodology not offered since Rice's own Learning for Leadership in 1965. This is an accessible and absorbing study, suitable both for experts and those new to the study of groups.
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