Peter W.J. Zomer
Company Coaching, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

E-mail:peterzomer@company-coaching.nl

 

THE DIALOGICAL GROUP AND COLLECTIVE LEARNING

 

Hermans' concept of the self as 'a dynamic multiplicity of relatively autonomous I-positions in an imaginal landscape' can be applied to the interpersonal analysis of the functioning of real groups. In what respect do voices of real group members influence each other in the making of collective stories? Can inner voices, or even collective voices be traced? In what sense do collective stories correlate with collective behavior? In this paper an application of Hermans' Personal Position Repertory (PPR) to the group setting is presented. Moreover, it is shown that group valuations and modalities can be made visible and used for the development of the group. The results suggest that group members can, with the aid of feedback from the designed measuring instruments, collectively learn to better understand their common historical experience and break their idiosyncratic, counterproductive patterns of interlocked behaviors. The author is currently working on a thesis on the foundation and development of a Team Confrontation Method (TCM), a device to be used in learning organization settings, and rooted in the work of Hermans (Valuation Theory, SCM and Dialogical Self).