Organizational Consulting : A Gestalt Approach (Gestalt Institute of Cleveland Press Book Series)

Organizational Consulting : A Gestalt Approach (Gestalt Institute of Cleveland Press Book Series)

Organizational Consulting : A Gestalt Approach (Gestalt Institute of Cleveland Press Book Series)

In this classic text, pioneering organizational consultant Edwin C. Nevis presents an approach to organizational consulting which is grounded in Gestalt theory.  Nevis brings his well-known insight, conceptual clarity and decades of experience to bear on the entire spectrum of concerns facing organizational consultants in a wide variety of settings.

Beginning with the development of the Gestalt approach and the “Cycle of Experience” model, Nevis traces the implications of Gestalt theory for such areas as organizational assessment, modes of influence in organizations, dealing with resistance, developing relationships, working at the boundary and the matter of the consultant’s presence. The conceptual framework provided in this groundbreaking work gives organizational consultants a powerful tool for understanding and influencing the behavior of organizations, and at the same time invites them to actively partake in the ongoing development of their unique individual styles.  

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3 Comments so far »

  1. Van Gogh said,

    Wrote on March 3, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Well-written and Useful, August 24, 2006
    By 

    This review is from: Organizational Consulting : A Gestalt Approach (Gestalt Institute of Cleveland Press Book Series) (Paperback)

    Nevis’ book is thorough look at how Gestalt principles affect organizational consulting. I have not been a student of Gestalt ideas and methods since graduate school in a former life. Nevertheless it provides very good handles and tools for helping organizations learn what they need and to learn ways of acting in the future on their own.

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  2. TakomaBaby "consultant" said,

    Wrote on March 3, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Powerful stuff, Well presented, October 4, 2007
    By 
    TakomaBaby “consultant” (Washington, DC) –

    Gestalt theory is wide and deep, often conceptually slippery, and difficult to grasp, but it can impact one’s life and work in profound and lasting ways. Nevis is certainly one of the masters at applying Gestalt in organizations and this is (so far) his masterwork on the subject. I truly believe that you will benefit from reading this book if you do so reflectively and let it do its “magic” on you.

    That said, Gestalt is highly experiential and needs to be learned through the hands, mouth, ears, and eyes. If this book piques your interest, I hope that is only the beginning of your inquiry. A very good next step will be hands-on training.

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  3. Rishel Gordham said,

    Wrote on March 3, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Gestalt Equals Excellence, March 17, 2007
    By 
    Rishel Gordham (Olympia, Washington) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    I thought this was a great read. This book began by first explaining how organizations can increase their awareness by utilizing principles found in the Gestalt approach. Even though I had heard of individuals speak of the Gestalt approach, I still did not fully understand what exactly it was. However, after reading the first few chapter of Organizational Consulting it became much clearer.

    On page 15, it states that “Appropriate healthy behavior is that which enables people to recognize what they need at any given moment, and to obtain it.” I thought that this sentence was profound in that individuals need to realize what appropriate healthy behavior is and compare that to what often happens in organizations or even sometimes groups. All too often in my work environment I have witnessed individuals putting up with inappropriate or unhealthy behaviors because that is simply what they have dealt with it for years. Reflecting back on what I have learned of change and being a “change agent”, it seems that groups that most often can grow from the use of appropriate healthy behaviors are reluctant to break the cycle and change their behaviors, or the behaviors of others.

    I appreciated the author’s use of diagrams; especially when explaining the section titled; Intervention as Boundary Changing (located on page 50). Since I am a visual learner it is nice to see that author’s choose to incorporate figures into their books. Also, within chapter fours section “Narcissistic Versus Collective Identity”, I was drawn to the books notion of becoming a “carbon copy”.

    I thought one very effective tool for organizations to utilize was within chapter eight’s section “On Meaning of Resistance in Organizational Settings”. I thought this was an excellent chapter because the author included numerous case studies to depict how resistance is dealt with in organizations. I enjoyed how the author stated on page 143; “Those who “resist” are to be seen as “bundles of cycle energy”, not as passive lifeless blobs.” I thought that was a fantastic statement that summed up Gestalts, Cycle of Experience which outlines different parts of the cycle in regards to mobilization of energy and action. It clearly identifies that resistance may be useful in the decision making process.

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