The intergroup and institutional events:

An overview of designs, foci, structures, and functions

Stan De Loach, Ph.D.


The intergroup and institutional events’ task and method nurture an individual’s capacity for self-doubt.  The consultants’ interventions offer self-doubt as a practical guide to prudent behavior in intergroup and institutional affairs, where subjective reality is multiform, difficult to comprehend, and often contravened by objective considerations.  The conscious processes of self-doubt and thoughtful examination of ambient dynamics can convert the elemental chaos of social life to a positive rational force extending human capacity for comprehension and survival.

As the individual’s versions of her or his own public involvement in collective activity is re-shaped by others’ points of view about both the involvement and the individual’s construction or recollection of events, the inevitability and acknowledgment of dissimilar versions of shared social experience in the intergroup and institutional fora further stimulate the cultivation of self-doubt.  Its appropriateness as an antidote to or transformation of ambivalence and as a requisite for accidental or deliberate participation in community life is total.

Collective exegesis of conference behavior and history is ultimately the best path to an approximate understanding of conference experience.  The imperfect objectivity of an individual’s elaboration of social reality is usually improved by being subjected to interpretation that is negotiated collectively.

In intergroup events, collective negotiation of the interpretation of individual experience, necessary because of supervening group and systemic processes, temporarily exacerbates self-doubt, while conference structures and staff’s consultations aim to forestall overmuch self-doubt by providing a concrete framework in which to jointly negotiate constructions of actuality.

The constructions of actuality proposed in staff’s interpretations attempt to combine the individual and the collective points of reference, without suggesting staff’s absolute certainty in understanding conference behavior.  Instead of advocating the unsound fabrication of certainty, staff’s work in intergroup events aims to encourage jointly negotiated, socially functional conceptualization and employment of the dynamics of human systems.

Intergroup events illustrate the interconnection of the individual, the group, and the community.  They set out to address segregate, group behaviors but end up by illuminating the aggregate qualities of the total system.  They highlight issues of independence and interdependence.  They are apt avenues to exploring the nature of the collective’s struggles with the phenomena of chaos and civilization, usually presenting as isolation and engagement.

By increasing familiarity with the conscious and unconscious motivations of any human collective, intergroup events thereby promote competence in social and political engagements.  The events are ideal contexts in which to adumbrate the character and effects of systemic social processes, as well as to demonstrate the foundations and worth of self-doubt and social negotiation in the continual interpretation of experience that is the basis of civilization.  Participation in intergroup events often refine awareness of the dynamic, provisional, sadly elusive nature of social reality.

History and parameters of the intergroup event
Types of intergroup event
Intergroup and institutional event foci
The director's tasks
Structures: Paradigms for learning
Boundary functionaries
The staff room's boundaries
Recent innovation
The member-staff boundary consultant's entry into members' groups
The learning tasks of intergroup representation and negotiation

Related topic:  Study group consultancy: Elements of the task


1998, 1999, 2006, 2016   Dr. Stan De Loach   All rights reserved.

iii 2016
vi 2006
ix 1999
vii 1998