Working Conference on Authority, Organisation, Strategies and Politics of Relatedness (AOSPOR)

Start Date:Aug 18, 2017 End Date:Aug 24, 2017
Last Date for Application:July 14, 2017 Last Date for Early Bird:April 30, 2017
Programme Fee: 172000 INR

Plus 18% GST

Early Bird Fee:159960 INR

Plus 18% GST

IIM Ahmedabad offers this Working Conference on “AOSPOR” as an opportunity for accelerated, immersive and experiential learning to harvest insights into management and to develop leadership skills for change that cannot be taught through lectures, case-studies or simulations. The primary purpose is building capabilities for strategy implementation and leadership challenges in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.

Group Relations Conferences (also known as Working Conferences) were first offered by the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, London in 1957 based on the work of Wilfred Bion who was born in India. The design and structure of Working Conferences have undergone many changes and innovations since then. Working Conferences have been offered in India, in the IIM tradition since 1973. The processes in this ‘temporary institution’, designed for learning and co-created with the participating members, are similar to those with which they are familiar within their own and other organisations. What makes AOSPOR different and valuable is that experiences at these conferences become available for exploration, reflection and action in real time-by mobilising authority from personal and organisational roles for experiencing and studying transformations.

This Working Conference promotes the integration of intellectual capacity with emotional and cultural intelligence. It is an opportunity to examine different models of how groups, teams and organisations function and leadership styles. Our emphasis would be on connecting conscious agendas with unconscious dynamics and covert processes that lurk beneath the surface in organisations.

  • To co-create a ‘temporary institution’ where staff and members take up roles to study the development and exercise of authority, evolution of organisational logic and the discovery and invention of strategies from their lived experience in roles within the Conference institution.
  • To enable the study of intra-group and inter-group dynamics and institutional relations that develop within the conference as an organisation and understand connections of organisations to their social, political and economic environments.
  • To facilitate opportunities for exploring the foundational processes of linking, connecting, relating, and networking as members of work groups concerned with influencing others and being influenced in the course of formulating and implementing strategies.
  • To discover underlying groups, organisational and social dynamics and the interplay between tradition and change, stability and innovation, creativity and harmony that may, at times, be beyond immediate awareness and to formulate “working hypotheses” about covert processes beyond awareness.
  • To reflect on insights and learning that arises from the perspective of building bridges with organisational roles to which members return after the Working Conference with a view to applying roles taken up within the conference to one’s own organisations and networks.

The nature and core purpose of an organisation can be designed, discovered or located in a primary task. The Primary Task of this Working Conference is: To explore the lived experience of roles through inter-personal, intragroup, inter-group and institutional relations that develop and shape the possibilities of transformation, pursuit of strategies and politics of relatedness within the organisational life of this conference as an institution.

Concepts Fundamental to the Working Conference
The word “conference” is used to emphasize the process of “conferring” in direct experience through conversations, dialogues and explorations that can bring together strands of thinking or give rise to new thoughts, or articulate unthought thoughts or express unthought knowns.

Authority is the source of choices we make (or do not make), actions we take (or do not take), people we relate with, directions we give ourselves, and roles taken up. Authority is the springboard for leadership and its exercise legitimises roles in intra-group and inter-group relations.

Organisation enables roles to enmesh and collectively engage with valued tasks with reference to boundaries of task, technology, time, space, sentience and understanding. Organisations are structures of convenience designed to contain systems and processes.

Strategies may be regarded as grand designs and patterns we create, discover or influence through our thinking, feeling and actions - consciously and unconsciously. The Working Conference provides spaces in which strategies may be formulated and tested in intragroup and inter-group interactions, and also in the institution as a whole.

‘Politics of relatedness’ arises from how we work with organisational boundary conditions such as task, technology, time, space, sentience and understanding for linkages within, and regulating flows of resources and responses across such boundaries. Understanding politics of relatedness (‘relatedness’ connotes togetherness as a group or other collectivity beyond relationships) enables us to function more effectively in complex systems where there are several stakeholders trying to influence each other. The notion “pictures of relatedness” was developed by Pierre Turquet as an institutional stepping-stone to portray the behavioural characteristic of cementing that groups exhibit beyond inter-personal relationships.

This Working Conference is for anyone interested in developing deeper understanding of managerial and leadership processes in organisations and developing skills to cope with covert processes. There is no requirement of any particular previous experience or knowledge. Willingness to learn from one’s experience by participating in the events and processes of the conference is expected. Participants may come from business, professions, public systems, finance, politics, diplomacy, sports, mass media, government, local authorities, NGOs, health services, social care, education, consultancy, justice, systems, religious orders, agendabased activisms, and environmental organisations. Previous IIMA conferences have drawn participation from all sectors, levels, career stages, and from across many countries in the world. The participant profile has included business leaders and team leaders of profit centres, HR professionals, government officials from IAS, IPS, etc. public sector managers, family business entrepreneurs, administrators, activists, educators, researchers, consultants, clinicians, professional service providers, scientists, health care professionals, bankers, IT practitioners, NGO leaders, etc.

Faculty Chair

Ajeet N. Mathur

Programme Faculty

Ajeet N. Mathur