Re: (Fwd) Consultancy

Devi Jankowicz (
Sun, 26 Sep 1999 23:05:36 +0000

Chris Evans forwards Michael Gopfert's message

>Michael clearly meant this to go to the list (
>rather than to Malcolm & I ( so I'm
>forwarding it.
>Seems like a good question to me and I'm sure Devi has
>suggestions though nothing leaps to my mind.


>>From: "Michael J. Gopfert" <>
>>Dear everyone, I am involved in a group who mainly have
>>trained in the Tavistock/Reiss Institute model of
>>psychoanalytic analysis of organisational behaviour. I
>>suggested that they should read some pcp stuff and now am
>>looking for some reasonably comprehensible basic
>>psychological texts on organisational dynamics from a pcp
>>perspective if available. Can anyone help.

This is a difficult one. I don't know of anything which covers the same
ground as the Tavistock model from a pcp perspective. There are accounts
which take a pcp perspective on clinical concepts and practice (David
Winter's _Personal Construct Psychology in Clinical Practice_ being one
which inspired awe in _this_ non-clinician!), and there are accounts of
pcp and grid technique applied in the general business-organisational
field (Stewart & Stewart's Business Applications of Repertory Grid; my
own review chapter in Neimeyer & Neimeyer's Advances in PCP vol.1; to
give just two examples). There is a small but thriving literature in
which pcp is used as the organising rationale for management and
organisational development activity, Colin Eden's papers in particular;
there are authors whose thinking is clearly influenced by pcp in fields
such as human resource management, some of which I reviewed in the
self-reference above. Applications to personal growth and development
exist in Laurie Thomas' work on learning to learn, Shaw & McKnight's
_Think Again_, and more recently Burr and Butt's _Invitation_, but these
are presented in a personal rather than an organisational context. There
is a body of work based on pcp ideas in the health service in particular,
and various professions in general that focus partly on the organisation-
individual interface (Helen Jones' work in the first instance, and D.E.
Hunt's in the second).

One can see lots of, rather partial, overlaps of subject-matter but no
account that offers an organising framework. The problem is that the
various facets of a Tavistock approach (as I understand it, the clinical
ontology; the organisational field; the focus on the organisation as a
collective of people and an examination of varying levels of agency- or
am I thinking of Grubb-Tavistock?; the commitment to development and
growth) have not so far as I know been brought together in one,
pcp-orientated framework.

Perhaps that could be _Michael's_ next book!

Kind regards,

Devi Jankowicz