Exploring Environmental Values through the Medium of Small Groups: 2. Illustrations of a Group at Work

Melanie Limb, Jacquelin Burgess, Carolyn Harrison

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


In this paper we present the discussions of the Eltham group in the Greenwich Open-Space project, as a case study of the contributions that in-depth small groups can make in the study of environmental values. The major themes of the group discussions are presented, and extracts of dialogue illustrate several aspects of small-group dynamics: how the group establishes its identity, how members negotiate increasing levels of intimacy and trust, how they handle conflict among themselves, and how they deal with termination. These themes demonstrate the importance of the group matrix, the levels of manifest and latent meaning in discourse, and the role of the conductor in facilitating the group structure and processes. We conclude that in-depth small groups are a valuable research strategy for the exploration of the interpenetration of individual and collective values for environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-476
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1988
Externally publishedYes


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