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van Reekum, G. (2005). Experiential Learning in Organizations: Applications of the Tavistock Group Relations Approach. Laurence J. Gould, Lionel F. Stapley and Mark Stein (eds). Karnac, New York & London, 2004.. Organ. Soc. Dyn., 5(1):147-153.

(2005). Organizational and Social Dynamics, 5(1):147-153

Experiential Learning in Organizations: Applications of the Tavistock Group Relations Approach. Laurence J. Gould, Lionel F. Stapley and Mark Stein (eds). Karnac, New York & London, 2004.

Review by:
Gerard van Reekum

This book brings together the contributions of nine authors - editors included, all of well-established reputation in the field of Group Relations work - stemming from their experience as conference staff as well as training and practicing consultants or from their scholarly research.

At the start of this review a brief summary and some comments are given for each contribution, prior to concluding thoughts about the publication of the book per se.

Stapley introduces this compilation with an historic overview of vital theoretical influences that crafted the body of concepts and praxis now known under the phrase ‘Tavistock Group Relations Approach’. He explains that the first three chapters ‘provide the necessary theoretical background and introduction’ to the illustrations and reflections that follow. At the end of his introduction, Stapley discloses that behind the publication of this book there was no intention solely to ‘preach to the converted’. Thanks to providing an overview of the systems psychodynamic approach to experiential learning, together with an array of detailed examples for those who have virtually no background in this field, it will appeal - says Stapley - not just to those already conversant with the subject but to a wide variety of professionals and students. This I find hard to believe; with the exception of your average OPUS-associate or OSD-subscriber, one is not likely to study this book and enjoy it like I did.

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