Contents Vol. 19.1                                                                                                         



What do participants learn at Group Relations conferences? A report on a conference series on the theme of Authority, Power and Justice                 

Tracy Wallach 


This paper reports findings from evaluation research conducted ofthree conferences in the Authority, Power, and Justice: Leadership for Change series convened annually from 2014-2016 at Boston College. The conferences havehad similar structures and themes, with some slight variations. The highly diversified staff and membership has highlighted the themes of social identity, power, and justice in the conferences. Findings were consistent with prior research that participants do indeed learn at conferences. For both experienced and inexperienced conference members, the process of learning and meaning-making is complex, relational, and evolves over time, beyond the conference boundaries, and is idiosyncratic and variable. Learning can also occur at a steep cost. Recommendations are offered for enhancing learning and mitigating some of the factors that may interfere with learning. Suggestions involve re-thinking our notions of conference boundaries and the consulting stance, better integration of conference themes into conference structure, and integration of evaluation processes into conferences.

Resistance and Solidarity: Organizing for Women’s Human Rights

Barbara Williams 


Using Lacanian, feminist, and organizational theory, this paper explores the problem and question of violence against women and gender justice.  In it, I argue that this violence and degradation against women is a fact, while simultaneously linking the notion of gender and its uncertain historicity to the traumatic discursive and psychical nature of en/gendering and to what this might mean for an organization whose mission is gender justice. The inevitable push to settle the meanings of women and leadership marks the impossible desire to know. I highlight the work of an established feminist international women’s rights and gender-justice organization and its efforts to resist this push to settle meanings and the related implications and challenges this may have on their shared-leadership model.

Building the identity of teaching and research of HR management in a faculty of Economics and Business Administration: A socio-analytical exploration of its history.

Eduardo Acuna 


This article is concerned with the recovery and discovery of conscious and unconscious meanings in the construction of the identity of Human Resource Management (HRM) discipline at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Chile. The article is based on a research exploring the role of collective memory in the construction of that identity, from its inception in the year 1958 until 2017. A socio-analytical approach was applied to understand the dynamics implied in the construction of the identity of HRM. The results of the research show the existence of silenced meanings about that construction as a consequence of an unconscious political memory operating at the Faculty that restricted the access and understanding of unexamined institutional knowledge. Such censorship is thought to be associated with the transformations occurred in Chilean society and the Faculty before and after de coup d’état that took place in 1973.

Low morale and the loss of clinicalidentity and leadership: An outcome of suppressed turbulence in modern CAMHS

Andrew Briggs


This paper examines the relationship between the NHS internal market and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in England and Wales. This relationship is the conduit for turbulence passing from the former to the latter. This turbulence is created by the manifest and latent content of the internal market outcomes for senior managers involved in this market’s tendering process. Manifestly the outcome for them is winning or losing contracts to provide services, resulting in either keeping or losing their jobs. The latent content is the activation of what Freud termed the life and death instincts. With these instincts stirred within senior managers, keen to ensure they do not lose the contract to provide services when the tendering process next is implemented by NHS commissioners, the death instinct is projected into clinicians through the design of service delivery models and structures. These models aim to ensure the minimum risk to the CAMHS organisation as a competitive business. In order to achieve this clinical leadership is removed from service design and delivery. What is designed removes the need to apprehend the meaning of patient’s symptoms and instates the need only to risk assess and manage them. This is turbulence suppressed, resulting in low staff morale through the loss of clinical identity, clinical leadership and the introduction of meaninglessness to clinical life.

Challenging impossibilities: using the plus-one process to explore leadership dilemmas

Philip Boxer 


The disruptive effects of digital technology are enabling all environments to become more turbulent, putting competitive pressure on organizations to move towards addressing the demands of their clients one-by-one. This paper considers situations where this pressure cannot be ignored, for example in the provision of intensive social care to individuals, or in enabling each disadvantaged university student to gain access to the full scope of its opportunities.

A network of relationships aligned at its edge to the particular demands of a client needs tripartite leadership that is vertically accountable to the powers-that-be, horizontally responsive to the client situation being addressed, and effective in the way it collaborates within the network itself. This involves holding dilemmas between vertical accountabilities and horizontal demands. This becomes impossible when the situation is framed solely in terms of vertically-accountabilities.

This paper describes a witnessed plus-one process undertaken by an individual at an edge. It works from her personal valency for challenging such an impossibility to explore the ways in which the dilemma in the situation was being ‘set up’ by how it was held by the wider system. This example is used to explore the thinking behind the process and discusses its implications forleadership.


Speaking Out

Wesley Carr, Religious Institutions,and Institutional Integrity              

Ed Shapiro 


Wesley Carr devoted his life to the Church of England, using group relations theory to frame some of his thinking. He saw the primary task of religious institutions as containing irrationality and dependency on behalf of society. This paper offers a summary of Wesley’s central ideas, with an extended illustration of his management (as Dean of Westminster) of Princess Diana’s funeral. The private and public mourning of millions around the world during and after this funeral is an example of the way religious institutions can respond to the needs of society by helping to manage the boundary transitions of life and death. The rituals of religion during such transitions can help individuals move beyond narrow sub-group identifications to discover their membership in a larger human community. For Wesley Carr, integrity meant to commit all of oneself to an institution’s primary task, negotiated with and on behalf of others, that connects to a transcendent set of ideals and beliefs.

Leadership, Betrayal and Institutional Integrity                         

James Krantz 


When the requirements of an institution’s mission collide with the hopes, needs and expectations of its people, leaders can face a painful choice. Either corrupt the institution by compromising its mission or betray those whose commitment and loyalty are essential. This tribute to Wesley Carr explores the notion of “virtuous betrayal” that was developed in an earlier paper and links it to issues of Institutional integrity.



International Listening Post Report Summary: The World at the Dawn of 2019

Sandy Henderson, Dr. Ulrike Beland and Dr. Dimitrios Vonofakos


On or around 9 January 2019, 22 Listening Posts were conducted in 19 countries: Canada, Chile, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Germany (Frankfurt and Berlin), Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy (two in Milan and one in the South), Peru,Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey and UK. This report synthesises the reports of those Listening Posts and organises the data yielded by them into common themes and patterns.

Book Reviews

“Ambivalence in Mentorship”: (2018) An Exploration of Emotional Complexities

by Bonnie D. Oglensky. London: Routledge. 
Reviewed by Richard Morgan-Jones

The Body of the Organisation and its Health

by Richard Morgan-Jones, with additional material by N. Torres & K. Dixon. (2010). Karnac. London.  
Reviewed by Stan Gold


Wesley Carr by Olya Khaleelee,