The Field

What is ‘Group Relations’ ?

Group Relations can provide an understanding of our experiences in groups and organizations. From families, to the workplace, to our larger community, group relations theory utilizes a dynamic lens, exploring conscious and unconscious behavior within groups and systems. We can explore relationships between leadership and authority, membership, the impact of identity, and individual differences within the systems we encounter in our daily lives. In short, Group Relations is one way to help us understand our own behavior in groups, as well as the behavior of others.

The New York Center for the Study of Groups, Organizations, and Social Systems is an affilitate of the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems (AKRI).  AKRI is a community of students, teachers, and practitioners of the discipline known as group relations.  The group relations approach to learning relies heavily on experiential learning.  Our “conferences” are designed to provide opportunities for the study of one’s own experience in a temporary learning system.

The Group Relations Conference is at the core.  This is an intensive participatory process that gives members the opportunity to study their own behavior as it happens in real time without the distractions of everyday social niceties, workplace pressures, or protocols. In this unique environment, hidden aspects of our normal behavior are often brought to light and explored in a way not ordinarily considered.  Typically, a team of consultants assist the group in determining what thoughts, feelings, and actions – both conscious and unconscious – support our effectiveness and which detract from it.  Participants in experiential conferences often report “ah ha” moments that can last for days, months or even years.  Click here for upcoming AKRI-sponsored conferences.


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