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GROUP COHERENCE: A COOPERATIVE INQUIRY

Abstract

 

Group Coherence, which is an energetic phenomenon, occurs in groups when the group accesses its collective identity with a clear sense of its own right action to achieve its goal. This dissertation describes how a group of researchers studied Group Coherence as they formed their group, learned and implemented the cooperative inquiry research method, collaboratively wrote together about their findings and answered the question “What is Group Coherence?”


The group–including the dissertation author–conducted its research using the cooperative inquiry method, a research method that seeks to construct knowledge about a question that represents the group’s curiosity. The group creates knowledge from individual members’ lived experience through participation and connection that access intuition and feeling beyond the five senses as they conduct multiple cycles of action and reflection to answer the group’s research question. Based on the practice of repeated research cycles, cooperative inquiry groups acquire holistic knowing by seeking congruence among multiple ways of knowing.

Holistic study of a group phenomenon such as Group Coherence, which cooperative inquiry makes possible, includes the felt experience of the group and its members. Holism is known through presence and meaning that is nonlinguistic and non-sensory (but not conceptless).

The research group identified 17 ingredients associated with Group Coherence. When we completed writing the analytic description of the individual ingredients, we addressed our question directly and intuitively. We described Group Coherence as an energetic web of ingredients

Group writing over the course of three years extended the cooperative inquiry process. A description of the group writing process explains how the writing process contributed to the quality of the inquiry, suggesting that group writing has value to groups addressing complex topics.

The GCCI group experienced three types of Group Coherence, which illustrate a progression of collective capability.

Group Coherence appeared in association with intuitive knowing in the group. Group Coherence in conjunction with cooperative inquiry enhanced our awareness of holistic learning. The conclusion of the dissertation suggests how we could conduct research to learn more about the contribution of Group Coherence to holistic research in groups.