n South African Journal of Labour Relations - A systems psychodynamic interpretation of South African diversity dynamics : a comparative study




The systems psychodynamic perspective has been used previously to report on South African diversity dynamics as studied during various group relations events between 2000 and 2004. The aim of this research was to study and report on the systems psychodynamic diversity behaviour manifesting in a South African organisation during 2005 and to ascertain if and how these dynamics are shifting. A focus group was used and the data were analysed and interpreted from the systems psychodynamic stance. The manifesting themes were hostility between generations, projections around age and gender, splits in race, language and status, and a continuous position of split in the system. When the results of this study were compared with those of previous studies, it was found that many of the previous dynamics were still applicable and were now manifesting with increased intensity. Shifts occurred from a focus on mainly race and gender, towards including age, language and status. Interpretations and hypotheses were formulated around a growing awareness of identity among black employees within the South African economy.


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