Abstract

After reviewing Gestalt's parity with Zen and Taoism, this paper illuminates the evolution of the Gestalt-informed peer learning community's emergence out of the tradition of Therapeutic Community Practice (Main, 1946), before exploring the potential of the same to engender development and healing. Parallel to this review of organizational renewal is a case study of change in a university setting, and the fostering of a peer learning community in an established charismatic organization. Within the body of the text, four qualitative research methods are integrated; an analysis of organizational culture is performed through the application of a diagnostic tool derived from the Gestalt's contact-withdrawal cycle (Critchley & Casey, 1989); community dynamics are assessed via field analysis (Lewin, 1952; Parlett, 1993); action research (Lewin, 1947) is used to collaboratively inquire into the success of the Gestalt-informed peer learning community through the voices of its participants; and a case study approach is employed to illuminate the day-to-day drama of facilitating cultural change within a resistive commercial setting. Last, the author illuminates learning he has accrued as a change agent and offers insights to help others who may wish to establish similar peer learning communities in a commercial setting.

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