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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200


CILLIERS, Frans  and  MAY, Michelle. The directors' roles in containing the Robben Island Diversity Experience (RIDE). SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2012, vol.38, n.2, pp.11-21. ISSN 2071-0763.

ORIENTATION: Robben Island represents past denigration and present day liberation. The researchers report on their experiences of containing the learning, consciously and unconsciously, in the Robben Island Diversity Experience (RIDE). RESEARCH PURPOSE: The purpose of the research was to describe the experiences of the directors of RIDE in the last 10 years. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Of the many and different diversity events that South African organisations present, RIDE is the only systems psycho-dynamically designed and presented event. This research was an effort to explore the nature of the directors' roles in working with unconscious diversity dynamics in such a provocative venue. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The researchers conducted qualitative, descriptive and double hermeneutic research. The various RIDE events served as case studies. The data consisted of researcher field notes collected during the 10 years. Thematic analysis resulted in four themes, for which the researchers formulated working hypotheses. They integrated them into the research hypothesis. MAIN FINDINGS: Four themes emerged. They were the diversity characteristics of the directors as containers, working on the boundary between RIDE and the macro role players, attacks on the programme as container and challenges from participants. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: The research highlighted the important roles of directors' authorisation as a resilience factor in containing RIDE. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The research contributed towards the awareness of intergroup relations between role players during diversity dynamic events and of how authorisation cements relationships.

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