Re: PCP and group trainings

John Mayes (
Tue, 01 Dec 1998 08:51:55 +1300

Dear Mr. Grunau,

I have asked Valerie Stewart for a response to your query below and this
follows. I hope that you find it useful.

John Mayes

`Dear Mr. Grunau,

This is an attempt to reply helpfully to your current issue of TQM - I take
it that the Mostar issue is not on your current agenda.

You are right in saying that the imposition of TQM is unlikely to be
successful if it does not take account of what people's current attitudes
are, and the degree to which they have been involved in the design of the
programme and feel as if they own it. This can be a particular problem with
groups of people who feel as if they already have strong professional
allegiances and standards. They may feel as if TQM is something which 'head
office' is imposing on them as an alternative to considering their real
concerns, and they are likely to express these concerns by externalising
them - e.g. blaming lack of resources, etc. It's really important to take
this into account in anything you're planning to do, whether it uses Grid
or not.

The process which is outlined in the Enquire Within Management Competencies
and Change workbook is designed to be proofed, as far as possible, from
these objections because it involves the people themelves in first of all
defining the characteristics of effective performance as they see it, and
then offers a process for feeding this information back to the management
and to the workforce in workshops where they have to judge the degree to
which the current construction of effectiveness is likely to support the
demands of the future. In other words, it involves heavy consultation and
efforts at ownership, placed firmly in their understanding of the demands
of the future. You will also see that it contains a suggestion for how to
use the constructs which emerge from a small group of interviews to design
a questionnaire which you can distribute organisation-wide, thereby
increasing involvement.

If you take this approach, then you will not have to do the study twice, as
you suggest - i.e. on the behaviour of policemen and the reports of
policemen - because their reports are in fact part of their behaviour.
(Unless I have misunderstood you and by 'reports of policemen' you mean
reports which are offered or elicited from the general public). However I
do disagree with the advice to use the functions of policemen as elements.
Grid works best when the elements are concrete - e.g. people or events.'
Functions of policemen' are much too abstract to give you useful
information. 'Functions of policemen' are in fact best regarded as
constructs which you would expect or hope to be generated within the Grid
interview itself. The problem with beginning with very abstract elements is
that you begin, and remain, on a level of abstraction from which it is very
difficult to move to actual examples of behaviour - as you would see if you
tried it for yourself by doing a Grid about functions in your own job. My
advice would be to interview some real policemen using real policemen as
elements (you can disguise them by nicknames, and Enquire Within has the
facility to delete the names of all the elements at the end of the
interview, which is OK because all you need are the constructs). Or you
could use specific events as elements - and by this I mean events specific
to the experience of the policemen you are interviewing. You will not need
to interview many (20 - 30 in each separate group) to get a complete
coverage of the constructs.

You ask a specific question about how can you find out more about corporate
constructs. 'Corporate constructs' can only be determined by looking at the
aggregate of individual constructs held in the organisation - and for your
study you need to know whether they are homogenous or whether there are
areas of difference.

For all these reasons - i.e. ownership and consultation, the need for
specific information, and the need to know what is happening on the ground
before you start to think about corporate action - I would strongly
recommend the process advised in the Workbook. It has been refined and
tested over thirty years in a number of environments (including police and
security forces) and it works. I hope this helps.

Valerie Stewart. '

At 21:55 28/11/98 +0100, Thomas Grunau wrote:
>since 1995 we try to work with pcp. The first time we started doing this
in a
>training was a training for policemen for Mostar in Bosnia. We had the
>that policemen had to act in a complete different way. They only could do
>monitoring in Mostar, otherwise they would have got some big difficulties.
>method of training the behaviour could not work, because the situation in
>could not be trained. We used a very rudimentary method to build
categories the
>person of the policemen, the work in the police unit, the knowledege they
>and the mission itself. We did not used bipolarity. We talked with our
>about the meaning of the words they wrote on presentation cards.
>Now we are working on TQM in police in my state. The problem of TQM and a
lot of
>organizational change methods is that organizations try to change but they
>think of the constructs of the people in the organizations. My view is that
>change or development in can`t be done without looking at the constructs.
So we
>want to look, what the "Quality of policework" means to my colleagues. One
>opportunity could be to use the elements as the functions of policemen in
>organization (Prof. Rainer Riemann told us so.). We have to do it twice,
>we have to look at the behaviour of policemen and the reports of
policemen. We
>can`t do it in an interview, because my organization is much too big (45.000
>policemen and 8.000 civil servants). Last week I read the article of Mark
>Balnaves and Peter Caputi "Corporate constructs: to what extent are personal
>constructs Personal?" (International Journal of Personal Psychology, year
?, page
> 119-138). I could not find a method in this article.
>How can I found out more about corporate constructs?
>Thank you.
>Best wishes
>Thomas Grunau

John Mayes