Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Embodied labor negotiations: A phenomenological study
by Southwell, Gail G., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2007, 327; 3302072
Abstract (Summary)

Labor negotiations are part of a complex social system that has many complexities and dimensions. In today's environment many companies and unions are failing to reach agreements; therefore it is imperative to study people who experience successful negotiations, especially when confronted with contentious issues. This study examines the lived experiences of seasoned negotiators and asks the question, "How do the lived experiences of seasoned labor negotiators offer insight and understanding into the success and failure of the labor negotiations processes?"

This study approaches the question from a heuristic and hermeneutic phenomenological perspective, describing and amplifying the lived experiences. The research first develops eight heuristic portraits by interviewing seasoned labor negotiators. Second, the research identifies seven prominent themes demonstrating the intersections between depth psychology theory, labor negotiations theory, and the lived experiences. Third, the research shows that metaphorical language used in the portraits exposes the importance of the body. This study offers a mirror for Jung's theories of the opposites, shadow, and the transcendent function.

Finally, understanding how these coresearchers experience and obtain success may be indicative of what may work in larger venues since labor negotiations have historically been at the forefront of societal change in this culture. This is important because Cutcher-Gershenfeld, McKersie and Walton (1995) explain, "we are once again in an era where labor negotiations have broad social ramifications…. Studying the interactions of unions, employers, and employees in this era, we find vivid and instructive illustrations of alternative pathways to change" (p. 3). This microscopic look at these eight labor negotiators may provide insights into skills for building effective relationships needed for resolving issues on the political world stage.

The coresearchers serve as pockets of consciousness for their respective constituencies by their continuous efforts toward conflict resolution. This is vitally important since "nowadays particularly, the world hangs by a thin thread, and that thread is the psyche of man" (Jung, 1977, p. 303).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Nelson, Elizabeth
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 69/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychotherapy, Labor relations
Keywords: Body, Depth psychology, Embodied labor negotiations, Labor negotiations, Lived experiences of labor negotiations, Negotiators
Publication Number: 3302072
ISBN: 978-0-549-47491-3
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