A Response to Towards a Group Analytic Praxis for Working with Teams in Organizations by Christine Thornton
Group Analysis
Jan 22, 2017
Articles in journals
Pontes, J.
This article is an original and important contribution to a reflection about the coaching performed by group analysts in small teams (between three and 10 members) within broader work organizations. The article is structured in three main parts. These are, respectively, thorough reviews of the literature on the application of group analytic concepts to professional team coaching, an outline of the main differences between therapeutic group analysis and group analytic inspired coaching of teams and, finally, the specific value of group analysis for the work with small teams within overall professional organizations. The latter topic contains several aspects which are related to the attention group analysis pays to individual differences within a group. According to Thornton, this particular emphasis on the ‘individual within the group’ makes group analysis a very useful tool for tackling the problems which arise in teams. The literature review is very complete. Perhaps the author could have singled out the work by C. Argyris (1990), as she does in her book Group and Team Coaching– The Secret Life of Groups (Thornton, 2016). Argyris said clearly that a very common defence which prevents a team/organization to achieve its primary task is a disjunction between two conflicting theories on the workings of the team: the ‘espoused theory’, which is stated publicly by the leader-ship, and the ‘theory in use’, which realistically describes the workings of the team.