I think this is what group relations people call parallel process. As grad student reps, we have to make a “group decision” that “represents” a larger body than just us three.
My students are starting to look at how they make decisions in small groups.
I examine how I make decisions in groups.
Starting at the mid-level (structurally in the organization), the parallelization occurs “downward”, but does it also occur “upward”? I.e., are “we” reflecting a decision-making structure that pre-dates us and perhaps is hierarchically/structurally “imposed” upon us?
The next part is about me – intrasubjectively, but with bearing on intersubjectivity (although I don’t go into role).
The group decsion about what to share/not share from the grad student meeting highlights for me the decisions I make about the blog too, and some of the residual effects of my posting about this organizational issue on the blog, both “originally” (about the overenrollment policy) and now. I think more transparency is better than less, and I think a public record is better than a private one. Even with blemishes. My self-appointment to do this has elicited a range of responses, most of which don’t feel good either personally (to me) or interpersonally (among, between us), but I feel “stuck” about an alternative. It is “my project” to explore and try to understand group communication (not limited to organizational communication, but that’s probably the closest academic label), and by definition this implicates “members of the organization” whether one desires such or not. But I am not studying our department per se. It’s a learning laboratory for me as I try to navigate agency from an essentially powerless position. I may glean ideas about how to conduct future studies from this, and I am learning a lot, and part of my intellectual commitment to myself is to share what I learn – to be as transparent as I know how to be.
My decisions about what to post/not post are subjective in the sense that they are motivated by what I’m thinking about – by what my consciousness is “doing” with the combination of reading, class discussions, and the events of “real life”. Ontologically, I guess this is where I think “answers” can be found. Not permanent solutions that establish some kind of utopia, but practical modes of being (interacting and communicating) that enable us to participate, actively, in the co-construction of a world where war is less and less a conceivable option.
Organizational Reflections: Parallel Processes at Work in a Dual Consultation