Shapiro & Carr

The MSU "Explorations in Leadership" ™ Conference takes on the concepts of large group systemic chaos and small group culture as a means for understanding particular aspects of group operation where leadership is the focus. 


Exploration of leadership in a large group requires one to shift the focus from the individual to the group in order to understand the sense of chaos (often unconscious) that can be felt when anonymity of one’s leadership capacity and subsequent execution of that capacity can be experienced. 


Exploration of leadership in the small group culture also requires one to shift attention from the individual to the group and provides opportunities for study at three levels of complexity.  These are (1) mainstream, public cultural preferences and definitions; (2) the affective culture operating in the moment and (3) the root metaphors that frame thinking, communication and cultural belief systems. 


In the group process a given concern or theme may arise i.e. “Who is the leader and who is being led.” A focal conflict emerges and is followed by a group solution—the method the group develops (or creates) to cope with this collective tension. The group will usually try to find a solution that may be useful in the next situation where another focal conflict arises. In this way, each group, though interaction, establishes its own unique culture(s) and micro-culture(s) as a way of dealing with internal relations such as leadership/followership, talking/listening or teaching/learning.

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