Original Research

The Robben Island diversity experience. An exploration of South African diversity dynamics

Marius Pretorius, Frans Cilliers, May Michelle
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 38, No 2 | a996 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v38i2.996 | © 2012 Marius Pretorius, Frans Cilliers, May Michelle | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 May 2011 | Published: 20 March 2012

About the author(s)

Marius Pretorius, University of South Africa, South Africa
Frans Cilliers, University of South Africa, South Africa
May Michelle, University of South Africa, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Orientation: Because of its historic, symbolic and psychological representation, presenting a diversity event on Robben Island posed invaluable opportunities to form an in-depth understanding of South African diversity dynamics. This research focussed on such an event interpreted from the systems psychodynamic perspective.

Research purpose: The purpose of the research was to describe the experiences of participants attending the Robben Island Diversity Experience (RIDE) in order to understand South African diversity dynamics from a depth psychology perspective.

Motivation for the study: Of the many and different diversity events presented in South African organisations, RIDE is the only annual systems psycho-dynamically designed and presented event. This research was an effort to explore the nature of these dynamics which manifest themselves from below the surface.

Research design, approach and method: Qualitative and descriptive research from a hermeneutic phenomenology paradigm was used. The 15 participants who attended a RIDE event formed a case study. The data from an unstructured interview was content-analysed and interpreted using the systems psychodynamic perspective. The themes were integrated into a research hypothesis.

Main findings: Five themes manifested themselves, namely, crossing boundaries, engaging the brave new world, ties that bind, being imprisoned and the struggle.

Practical/managerial implications: The research highlighted the importance of understanding unconscious dynamics in the context of diversity in order to inform consultants about diversity management interventions in organisations.

Contribution/value-add: The research contributed towards how South African diversity dynamics manifest themselves and how that can be addressed in organisations.


Keywords

Systems psychodynamics; group relations training; crossing boundaries; engaging the brave new world; ties that bind; being imprisoned; the struggle

Metrics

Total abstract views: 3964
Total article views: 8315


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.