Process Consultation

Topics: Kurt Lewin, Group dynamics, Group development Pages: 7 (2259 words) Published: April 18, 2011
Process Consultation Paper

“Process Consultation is a set of activities on the part of the consultant that help the client to perceive, understand, and act upon the process events that occur in the client’s environment in order to improve the situation as defined by the client” (Schein 1988). The purposes of this essay is to examine some of the contextual factors of how group dynamics evolve and the role of a process consultant, by exploring the similarities and differences that characterize, to established and effective process consultation when working with a group or team. The systems approaches focuses attention on the relationship between a system or sub-system and its environment rather than trying to understand things automatically. It follows from this perspective that any enterprise aimed at studying group processes will be shaped by the environment in which it exists. A well design process implies that the consultant should always select the proper intervention that will be the most helpful at any given time; the consultant should be familiar with a variety of questions, exercises and other forms of intervention when working with groups, at the same time is very important that the proper feedback is given as the group evolves during such process. Group relations training creates multiple and at times conflictual role constellations. Proving an effective group dynamics process requires some of the multiple role relations that are contained within the consultant-team relationships. Studying group dynamics in the here-and-now evokes primitive dimension of unconscious life and along with it powerful emotions that are often suppressed in natural work organizations.

Using as an example experiential group relations between students the efforts of introducing the Lewin’s model which was based on his observations of group dynamics and organizational development, “unfreezing-change-refreeze” the model focuses on how people can be motivated to accept organizational change and reject and replace the status quo with a new approach and the roles in organizational development by Schein based on a pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way you perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems, these two models are introduce to explore group dynamics into the classroom. (Kurt Lewin 1996) (Edgar Shein 1988). While many of these experiments are either so cursory or sufficiently truncated in one way or another that they provide only a superficial taste of the aims of this experiential learning method, other efforts, such as those discussed in class, have succeeded in providing students with deep and intensive theoretical and experiential learning. One reason teaching group dynamics has been more successful in school settings than in other sorts of work organizations is that there is a basic congruence between the primary task of the group relations in class and that of the school: both are concerned primarily with learning. The general task congruence tells only part of the story, however, because the most dramatic and important difference between the two models stems from the differences in the primary task or tasks that each enterprise pursues. The defining characteristics of the freestanding group relations is that it can be designed and implemented with an extraordinarily sharp focus on a single primary task of providing learning opportunities. The consistent adherence to that focus provides a “work boundary” or referent against which interpretation of unconscious process can be made.

The training program within the school, in contrast, does not pursue the learning task so single-mindedly, or ruthlessly, as it often seems to organization members. The purposes of the course must...

References: Fredrick H. (1999), Hand Book for Coaching.
Edgar H. Schein. (1988), Process Consultation Volume 1, Its Role in Organization Development.
Kurt Lewin. (1947), System Practice Volume 9 Change Theory in the Field and in the Classroom, 1996.
Organizational Change and Development, Journal article by Karl E. Weick, Robert E. Quinn; Annual Review of Psychology, 1999
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