Services to Organisations
Offered by the Centre

1.  Diagnostic Research   2.  Knowledge Management

3.  Coaching   4.  Conflict Resolution   5.  Small Group Work


1.  Diagnostic Research in Organisations

In the early 1980s when the late Fay Fransella created the Centre, she said it existed to give personal construct psychology to those who wanted it. At that time she did not foresee that this would take the Centre into large public and private corporations.

The move into such organisations came about through the Head of Training at British Airways who had booked on to a one-day course at the Centre. He asked if the Centre could retrain 30,000 staff. When the answer was ‘no’, he asked what it could do. Fay Fransella said the Centre could identify the attitudes and beliefs that British Airways staff held about themselves, their work, their future and about British Airways (which was about to be privatised). He accepted a proposal from the Centre to do work with the BA passenger-contact staff. To carry that out, Fay created a method for eliciting personal constructs and using repertory grids with very large groups of people. This has become known as the “Diagnostic Research Method” (sometimes called the "group grid method").  Special computer software to analyse the data produced by large numbers of grids was written by Professor Peter Fonagy.  The results from the Centre's research with the BA passenger contact staff and subsequent BA surveys, provided information that was of immediate usefulness in its "Putting People First" re-training programme.

Over the years, the Centre's Diagnostic Research service has proved of use to many other companies, both large and small.  Apart from the research service, the Centre has used personal construct methods with senior management and other teams in organisations and run courses in interviewing skills.  It has also worked with companies in relation to selection procedures, assessed training needs and much else besides.  The Centre's work is not 'pre-packaged'.  We believe that the way to provide the most usable information is to tailor-make research and other interventions for each organisational problem or issue.


2.  Knowledge Management

An area of great concern in many organisations, is the management of knowledge. The reason for this is simple - to maintain competitive advantage organisations need to do more with fewer people and ensure that the knowledge stored in the organisation is both identified and disseminated. In particular, making tacit knowledge explicit and getting people to share knowledge is often much easier said than done. A personal construct approach is a very effective way of helping organisations to identify, elaborate and disseminate knowledge.

3.  Coaching

The Centre provides a coaching service which is available for managers and executives who work in either small or large business organisations and for the growing band of people who run their businesses from home.


4.  Conflict Resolution

All who work in organisations will be aware that conflict between groups of staff is always a possibility and all too often a reality. Personal construct psychology always proceeds by finding out not only what people are doing but also the reasons behind their behaviour. Only when both of these are known in the necessary detail for all the parties concerned, can the real process of conflict resolution begin.


5.  Small Group Work

The Centre also works with small groups, whether they be formal teams or other working groups. Rather than providing 'team-building' training, the personal construct approach is to look at the underlying relationships between group members, their roles, their organisation and their work. In this way, the group can be helped to understand itself properly and to make the necessary changes to develop and progress.

For information about any of the above services, please email Nick Reed, the Director of the Centre.


A few of the large organisations with
which the Centre has worked:

Allied Irish Banks

Allied Domecq

British Airways

Ford of Europe 

General Motors

National Health Service

North Thames Gas

Savory Moore (Chemists)


Mike Bruce, Senior Manager Corporate Development of British Airways said:

"Perhaps the most striking finding of the study concerned what was absent rather than what was there. Very few staff appeared to see passengers as individuals with different needs. Thus, whilst they identified different passenger behaviours and types such as businessmen, Asians visiting families, holiday makers, etc, what seemed to influence staff behaviour was the 'sociability' construct. A 'good passenger' was described as one who was sociable; who repaid staff efforts to enter a social relationship."

 (Industrial and Commercial Training, 1987, volume 9, 5.)

Willfred Greyling (at the time Professor of Applied Linguistics) made this comment on completion of a ‘group grid’ project:

"those participating in it stated that they felt empowered and that they had gained critical-reflective skill"

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