Purified humanism: revisiting the Leicester conference

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Abstract.
The aim of the Leicester Conference is to help managers by way of experiential learning to acquire the prerequisites to influence effectively organizational change. For some time there has been an ongoing debate on the innovative potential of social psychological experiments and techniques. This article discusses the analytical possibilities of the notion “purified humanism” as part of an alternative analysis of the effective mechanisms of a widely used social psychological experiment. The article unfolds a number of ideas in relation to the socio-material provocations and maneuvers launched by the working conference. This is done in order to give new meaning to the effective mechanisms of this social technique. The Leicester Conference is not simply a trivialized version of reality, I argue. Rather it is a consciously configured socio-material medium, which conjures up historically and culturally specific attitudes in relation to leadership and the question of authority among participants.

Keywords: The Leicester Conference, experiential learning, authority, socio-materiality, social techniques
Original languageEnglish
Publication year12 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2016

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