CSGSS Group Relations Reading Group—The Work Is Alive!

04/18/2023 06:00 PM - 07:30 PM ET


The Center for the Study of Group and Social Systems (CSGSS) invites you to join a Group Relations Reading Group focused on the real-world application of group relations theory.


“The Work Is Alive! System Psychodynamics and the Pursuit of Pluralism and Polarization in Human Relations” by Gianpiero Petriglieri, INSEAD, France Jennifer Louise Petriglieri, INSEAD, France


Tuesday, April 18, 2023

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm ET

via Zoom (registration required as space is limited)

Moderators: Glenn Sigl and Marc Maltz, CSGSS Board Members


Free for CSGSS Members, $10 Suggested Donation for non-members

Registered participants will receive a copy of the paper and the zoom link


"The work is alive! Systems psychodynamics and the pursuit of pluralism without polarization in human relations"

Gianpiero Petriglieri, INSEAD, France & Jennifer Louise Petriglieri, INSEAD, France

 Abstract: This article celebrates the vitality of the systems psychodynamic approach and its potential to humanize organization studies, management practice, and working lives. An approach is a deliberate movement: a way to move closer to, inquire about, and deal with something. The systems psychodynamic approach involves moving closer to organizations and workers through research and educational efforts to study and manage the unconscious dynamics of organizing. It aims to reveal the fears, needs, and wishes that underpin rigid structures and dysfunctions in groups, organizations, and institutions—and to foster more adaptive and functional ways of dealing with those impulses. Advocates refer to this approach as ‘the work’. This article tells the story of the work as we understand it. We tell it as a life, to highlight the work’s intent and evolution, its struggles and contributions, but mostly to make the point that the work is alive. It is alive as an academic enterprise and it is a way of life. An approach devoted to dismantling defenses, countering authoritarianism, and nurturing development and democracy, we argue, is more relevant than ever. And so is what we see as the purpose of the work: fostering pluralism without polarization in human relations.


This reading group will be an opportunity for participants to discuss the reading through their own experience to discover practical applications in everyday life and work.

CSGSS’ mission is to further the understanding of groups and organizations as conscious and unconscious social systems through experiential learning, education, and application.

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