In the idiom of Tavistock practice: approaches to public sector psychotherapy group relations organisational development & change and board evaluation

PhD Thesis


Sher, Mannie 2012. In the idiom of Tavistock practice: approaches to public sector psychotherapy group relations organisational development & change and board evaluation. PhD Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsSher, Mannie
TypePhD Thesis
Abstract

This portfolio of published work consists of four sections that reflect my
professional journey, bridging my work at the Tavistock Clinic from 1971 to 1976 -
Public Sector Psychotherapy (Section 2) with my experiences at the Tavistock
Institute of Human Relations from 1997 to the present - Group Relations (Section
3); Organisational Development and Change (Section 4); and Board Evaluation
(Section 5).
The papers included in the portfolio are reflections of the important theories and
approaches that have come out of both ‘Tavistock’ institutions 1 over the past 70 to
80 years - psychoanalysis (the role of thought); socio-technical systems (the
interaction between people and technology in workplaces); theories of leadership,
research and evaluation methodologies; participant design and greater
democratisation of the workplace.
This portfolio also gives me the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of
my supervisors and tutors in the work – Pierre Turquet, Robert Gosling and Mary
Barker at the Clinic and Eric Miller and Gordon Lawrence at the Institute. They
were influential in generating the most recent theoretical idea of the Tavistock –
systems psychodynamics – the confluence of the dominant framing perspective of
the structural aspects of organisational systems and the psychoanalytic
perspectives on individual experiences and mental processes and the experiences
of unconscious group and social processes.
This portfolio reflects my career of grappling with a central feature of systems
psychodynamics – the existence of primitive anxieties and the mobilization of
social defense systems against them. The idea of social defenses that either
facilitate or impede organisational task performance was one of the Tavistock’s
earliest major organisational constructs that defined the Tavistock’s approach to
organisational life. This construct has underpinned my work with individuals and
organisations and the publications in this portfolio were selected on the basis of
illustrating that in practice.

KeywordsTavistock; psychotherapy; group relations; organisational development; board evaluation
Year2012
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/PUB.1442
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1442
File
License
CC BY-ND
Publication dates
Print20 Feb 2012
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Feb 2012
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