Finding US in Music

A Method for Deeper Group Engagement that Integrates Music with Ubuntu, Contemplation and Reflection
  • Barbara NussbaumEmail author
Living reference work entry

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Increasingly both in the theory and practice of organizational development, themes of connecting with the other, participation and co-creation, leveraging “We Spaces” are becoming more common. How then can music bring a positive contribution to transformation within organizations? This chapter discusses the potential role that contemplating self and other through the frame of music can give to the transformation of consciousness. A pioneering approach to personal transformation is introduced in which music amplifies personal narratives in small groups and is the primary lens for self-awareness and mutual discovery. Theorists and practitioners from diverse disciplines inform a theoretical backdrop: from John Dewey (1989) and Maxine Greene (1995) in aesthetic education; David Cooperrider and Diana Whitney (1999) – appreciative inquiry; integral organizational development and integral philosophy of Steven McIntosh (2007) and Ken Wilber (2000); and the African philosophy of Ubuntu Dion Forster (2010). The integration of diverse perspectives paints a picture of how and why such music-centric approaches hold relevance for personal and group transformation in twenty-first century organizations. This chapter is intended to make a small contribution to sparking inquiry and inspiring innovative practices, locally and globally in the evolving field of organizational development. We live at a time when finding viable and engaging approaches to heal and transform the many divides within organizations and societies globally are sorely needed.


Appreciative inquiry We space Ubuntu Intersubjective space Personal transformation Group transformation Organizational transformation through group engagement Contemplation through music Music and Ubuntu Group as an art form: integral philosophy Individual transformation Contemplative approaches in organizations, organizational aesthetics Finding US in Music 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ConsultantStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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