Date of Award

1-1-2003

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Science

Faculty

Faculty of Regional Professional Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Trish Sherwood

Second Advisor

Dr. Stuart Devenish

Abstract

A call for business to introduce a humanistic workplace ethos within a supportive work community resounds throughout the western world. Scott Peck's model of community building workshops is explored as a tool for creating a business ethos centred-on human flourishing which embraces the principles of socially responsible community. The CBW provides a concrete experience of a psychological and physiological sense of deep-community. In -Peck's vernacular, this is termed as being in-community. In my research the experience of being-in-community is explicated via phenomenological analysis, which allows some of the eidetic structures of the phenomenon to come to light. The experience is represented by four interpretive themes; encountering the other; emptying and emptiness; speaking; and being-in-community, with chapters five arid six showing the meaning of the experience for CBW participants. A phenomenological approach is used to report the meaning of experience, as phenomenology is suited to explicating both ideographic and homothetic representations of experience. The experience of being-in-community is shown to have properties that can profoundly affect and change the experiencing person. This research found that the experience of being-in-community has universal eidetic structures that exist beyond the embodied human, whilst being intrinsically connected to human consciousness. The experience of being-in-community is ontologically re-formational and bridges and transcends perceived differences of self and Other. This experience is shown to contain connective and unifying qualities, which bond people in an empathic and inclusive experience of the Other in community. Personal barriers to community are laid aside and the· Other is seen with ‘fresh eyes'. Differences are accepted in an attitude of care and respect for the Other, which is supportive and healing. People are bound in a lattice of fellow-feeling which can fortify and support individual and organisational endeavours to change. The CBW 'is proposed as a way to build sustainable business for the 21st century; businesses that can create and sustain community.

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