The focus of this volume is on groups. The intention is to go beyond taking things at face value by going deeper and exploring the underlying, less evident phenomena concerning groups which occur beneath the surface. The more frequently used approach is to study the behaviour of individuals in a group to create an understanding of group behaviour. The approach taken here is to study groups from the perspective of the group as a whole, which provides a totally different perspective. Thus, while individual actions and relationships in groups is a valid field of study, the group as a whole is another level and unit of study.
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. This is in no way a substitute for the vital learning from experiential opportunities provided by actual GRCs. By attending, we are able to learn from the way(s) we take up our roles or are mobilised by the group to take up roles, and to understand that our valency can result in us being used repeatedly in the same way. The learning is rich and valuable because it happens in the here and now in direct experience.
The book is the perfect guide to group relations conferences for experienced and novice participants alike to enhance their group relations learning experiences. It serves as an excellent introduction to GRCs for the novice and is 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.