23 Chapters
Medium 9781855753280

CHAPTER EIGHT Drawing from role biography in Organizational Role

Susan Long Karnac Books ePub

Susan Long

When we take up and engage a particular work role it is always in the context of a larger work system. The value of conceptualizing work systems as systems of role relations is that it emphasizes the interactions between roles and their links to the tasks of the enterprise. In contrast, the idea of “person” seems to have lost the essence of interaction or embeddedness in the system. Persons are often thought of as independent units in our increasingly individualistic and narcissistic society.

Role is at the intersection of the person and the system. Although a role is a structural part of the system, it is filled and shaped by its incumbent, the person. This person has a history of taking up different roles in different systems: family, community and work.

Many executive coaches focus solely on the person, aiding them to develop personal skills and capabilities that will help them in their roles. Organizational Role Analysis (ORA) or socio-analytic role consultation as discussed in this book looks also at the organization or system. There are mutual interactions, influences, and interconnections between the role of the client or person, other roles, and other organizational structures. Although individual role analysis typically encounters the system through the perceptions, thoughts, and fantasies of the role holder (see Sievers & Beumer, this volume), when conducted in conjunction with organization culture analysis or research (Long, Newton, & Chapman, this volume) the organization-in-the-experience of the consultant/ researcher and other players may also be examined. Abroad picture of multiple representations requiring negotiation and mutual exploration arises. Each requires exploration if the dynamics of the client role are to be fathomed.

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2005 BALTIMORE

Karnac Books ePub

Susan Long

The book and subsequent film‘The Corporation’ (Bakan 2005) took as its theme 1) the idea of the corporation created as a legal entity similar to an individual in the Law and 2) following this, the evaluation of the behaviour of corporations against descriptions of psychopathic syndromes in the DSM IV. The conclusion was: many corporations are psychopathic. Not surprisingly, organisational theorists and consultants are interested nowadays in the emotional and irrational aspects of organisational life. Increasingly, it seems the discourse surrounding organisations includes the idea of madness as well as badness.

But the distinctions between mad and bad have long been problematic for those attempting to deal with extreme or abnormal behaviour; such as the institutions of psychiatry and prisons (nowadays, corrections). Despite the controversies surrounding the work of French social historian Michel Foucault,1 he did offer many compelling arguments about the historical development of the shifting boundary between medicine, psychiatry and the law (Foucault 2003; 1963). That this boundary is problematic is not in doubt. The modern psychiatric diagnosis of‘personality disorder’ encompasses itsdifficulties. With issues of behavioral disturbance, narcissism and anti-social behaviour taking center stage, many of those falling within this diagnosis populate the world’s prison systems and might be described as suffering from symptoms like‘a lack of remorse’.2 One might ask about the line between symptoms and character; suffering and accountability. Moreover, with the advent of new-styled therapeutic courts on the one hand and cognitive-behaviour modification on the other, it seems we have judges as social workers and psychiatrists as behavioural custodians; the boundaries between aspects of their roles become ever more complex and interdependent.

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2007 STOCKHOLM

Karnac Books ePub

Gilles Amado

Contrary to the transitional object, the notion of potential space, which is at the core of the transitional process described by D. W. Winnicott, has always been difficult to integrate within the psychoanalytic theory and practice because it is neither an object nor an agency.1 Moreover, potential space does not appear as a completely stable and independent notion as it is named sometimes “transitional space”, “intermediate area”, “third area” for example. Still, potential space may be the most important idea in Winnicott’s work. In the French version of his last book, Playing and Reality, “potential space” is even mentioned as the subtitle.

It may seem somehow awkward that organisational clinicians pay attention to such a notion because it is originally intended to explore the first period of psychic life and mother-infant relationship. Still, if we do so, it is because we know today that such a space is at the source of true living and creativity and has, therefore, deep implications for people, organizations and societies.

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CHAPTER NINE Coaching senior executives: personal/work conflicts, mortality and legacy

Susan Long Karnac Books ePub

Laurence J. Gould

Introduction

While both the study of life stages and the nature of taking up an organizational role have been the subject of much contemporary work, with few exceptions (e.g., Fitzgerald, 2002; Gould, 1999; Levinson, Darrow, Klein, Levinson, & McKee, 1978), they have generally been split into personal and professional strands, with little in the way of systematic integration. For example, the literature on coaching most often mentions the significance of life stages only in passing, or not at all. Even, in what is an excellent paper by Brunning (2001), in which she conceptualizes, quite comprehensively, six major domains of coaching and applies them to a well-developed case example, she never mentions the client’s age. This, despite the fact, that one of her domains—the “Life Story”—is at least suggestive in this regard. As a general matter, I can hardly imagine that one wouldn’t view the case material somewhat differently, nor that a client’s concerns would be likely to be quite different, depending on their stage of life. But this example is hardly unique—it is representative of the mainstream literature on coaching.

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2002 MELBOURNE

Karnac Books ePub

Burkard Sievers

“Trust is a double-edged sword. It can open opportunities of mutual productive work and at the same time, can be a sophisticated trap, in which the partners of trust are captured.”

Amitzi and Schonberg, 2000

“Trust is a peculiar quality. It can’t be bought. It can’t be downloaded. It can’t be instant … . It can only accumulate very slowly, over multiple interactions. But it can disappear in a blink.”

Kelly, 1999

“A crisis of trust cannot be overcome by a blind rush to place more trust.”

O’Neill, 2002

“On September 11, 2001 … Americans realized the fragility of trust. … Our trust was shaken again only a couple of months later with the stunning collapse of Enron.”

Kramer, 2002

The importance of trust is heavily emphasized in contem porary organization theory and management practice. Although I am convinced that trust is a good thing and a necessary constituent of the social fabric, I am interested in understanding the social (and political) thinking underlying the current academic and non-academic view of trust. My working hypothesis is that management attempts to engineer trust reflect an underlying denial of the loss of hope regarding both the relatedness between organizational members and the value and meaning of organizations. The experience of non-relatedness and lack of trust cannot be acknowledged by management, therefore the loss of hope has to be hidden behind the propagation of the importance of trust (and relatedness). The denial of the loss of hope is an expression of psychotic thinking concomitant with the inability to see reality and to mourn loss. The engineered propagation of trust thus becomes a substitute for trust itself.

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