chapter  10
17 Pages

Large groups in industry

WithTrevor Mumby

This chapter focuses on three areas, the first is the extent to which the technological aura of an organisation affects behaviour, secondly, how large-group phenomena relate to that behaviour and, finally, a discussion of the application of large-group methods to organisation change objectives. Large groups were conducted for employees from part of an international petroleum company, which, at this location, employed 4,000 people, 1,000 of whom were managerial staff. A fierce battle developed between the operating and technological groups which had to be resolved by high status managers commanding the operating men to do as they were told. The feelings ranged from depression through to exhilaration and the drives from destructiveness to creativity. In terms of organisations acting in their corporate role, the human emphasis is being demonstrated by the increasing levels of self-consciousness about wastage and pollution. The only mass meetings that occur in organisations arise when the unions call the men out.