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14. The Psychology of Innovation in an Industrial Setting

Karnac Books ePub

James C. Miller

The research reported on in this paper is the result of an interdisciplinary project of six social scientists1 who shared an interest in organizations, but who differed widely in their theoretical orientations and their approach to organizational consultation. We acted as consultants to a small, innovative, technologically based factory in a middle-sized community in upstate New York. For those of us more familiar with governmental, education, and mental health institutions, it provided an opportunity to contrast the unclarities and uncertainties which characterize these systems with a greater potential for articulation and direction in a relatively isolated industrial operation. For those of us more familiar with business consultation, it presented an opportunity to study a small industrial unit in a larger corporate enterprise which was relatively distant from corporate management, and thus from the usual kinds of corporate training enterprises.

The plant was presented to us as a success story within the larger corporate organization. Since for most industrial organizations the primary task revolves, in one way or another, around making a profit, we doubted that the plant would have been presented to us as a success had it not been an economic success. As we learned more, we discovered that indeed by most standards it was an economic success, having developed production technologies that allowed the product to be produced at a lower cost than at other, similar plants without lowering the socio-economic status of its workers compared with those employed at other plants in the area. Moreover, it became clear that the plant was seen as a success in still another way. Labour-management relations were seen as having been maintained at a consistently high level of collaboration and satisfaction from the inception of the plant down to the present, such that turnover and absenteeism were low, job satisfaction was high, and workers generally saw it as possible to ‘progress’ within the system. To put it another way, the ‘quality of life’ within the organization was seen as more than acceptable, and as setting a standard for the corporate organization.

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CHAPTER FIVE: The science, spirit, chaos, and order of social dreaming

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Suzanne Leigh Ross

In 1989, I was invited to be a staff member on the first Australian Social Dreaming Conference directed by Gordon Lawrence. Since then I have been involved in social dreaming in a variety of ways: a matrix member at the Spa conference in Belgium in 1991; as a co-consultant to a long-term matrix with Alastair Bain, from 1991 onwards, and as co-director of the social dreaming matrix with Lawrence at the International Group Relations and Scientific Conference in Lorne, Australia, in 1993.

Through these varied experiences across task, role, duration, membership, and focus of the matrices, I have become increasingly convinced that social dreaming is not new; it has a very ancient base in many cultures. For the Australian Aborigine, “In the beginning was the dreaming” (Lawlor, 1991, p. 13). This ancient connection has been suggested by many, including Lawrence himself. Our experiences from a long-term matrix parallel the archetypal aspects found in many writings of past cultures alongside the theoretical parallel, which I feel confirms this position.

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CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Social dreaming: a paradox accepted (a psychoanalyst’s condensed thoughts on social dreaming)

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Judit Szekacs

“… paradox accepted can have positive value.”

D. W. Winnicott

Who has a dream?—as a matter of fact we all do, but we are not used to answering such a question! Dreams are, as they often say, “silly, mysterious, embarrassing, amazing”, but in the first place they are personal.

The idea might sound like a surrealistic image from Bunuel’s film Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, where adding to the escalating sense of madness there comes a character announcing—out of the blue— that he wants to share his dream with the ladies and gentlemen.

Nearly a hundred years ago, Freud carved a passage through social resistance to paying serious attention to dreams by recognizing them as highly precious media carrying valid psychosocial meaning. He made dreams acceptable and available for two-person investigations in the analytic space: delegates from distinct regions of the unconscious speaking a forgotten language that we all know. Sharing dreams in the analytic process became known as “the royal road to the unconscious”—a formidable and indispensable instrument for uncovering and understanding transference and countertransference processes and possible ways of elaboration.

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11. The Adolescent, the Family, and the Group: Boundary Considerations

Karnac Books ePub

Roger L. Shapiro and John Zinner

In this paper we want to discuss the boundary concepts which have given orientation to our work in a research treatment programme for disturbed adolescents and their families. Boundaries are demarcations which are crucial to the definition of any system, in that they separate it from its environment and from other systems in its environment (Miller and Rice, 1963; Rice, 1965,1969). As such, boundary concepts are central in explicating a psychology of the individual personality system, of the family system, or of the group. Boundaries are also constructs which speak of the relationships between parts of a system and thus provide an essential framework for conceptualization of differential aspects of psychological processes within the individual or family or group (Landis, 1970).

We assume that there is an important correspondence in the structure of the personality system and its subsystems, and the structure of external reality— especially the social system and its subsystems—which impinges on that personality (Edelson, 1970). The same concept, then, would be expected to have an important homology in each system. The correspondence between the boundary concepts of individual psychology and the nature of boundaries in the family system and the group is the focus of our study. The aim of this study is to define the relation of boundary characteristics of the family system, in particular, characteristics of the boundary between the family and the individual adolescent, to the nature of self boundaries which have developed within the adolescent himself (Shapiro and Zinner, 1976). In addition, we consider how characteristics of self boundaries in the adolescent relate to the role boundaries he establishes in new interpersonal and group situations. Where there is pathology in the adolescent and in the family, we design treatment situations so that the manifestations of pathology in boundary problems, or the origins of pathology in boundary problems, may be explored (Shapiro, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969).

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CHAPTER TWELVE: Dream intelligence: tapping conscious and non-attended sources of intelligence in organizations

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Marc Maltz and E. Martin Walker

Innovation is the product of free thinking—the creative process of generating ideas that occurs when we suspend the binds of daily life and allow our dreams to be expressed and discussed. An aspiration of most organizations, innovation is forever searched for, rarely achieved, yet ever-present. Many organizations try to enhance their creative process through activities that attempt to break the organization’s members out of their normal routine in order to create new ways of working, new products, new ways of serving markets, and so forth. These processes, though, are usually unsuccessful because they do not allow the participants the opportunity to break from the social and psychological restrictions that inhibit them from contributing to such an effort.

Gordon Lawrence has written many examples over the years of how dreams have been the starting point for innovative thinking (see also chapter one herein). The authors in their own writing (Maltz & Walker, 1998) and work with dreams have witnessed the capacity of organizations to understand, to learn, and to break through traditional knowledge management in order to create new and innovative approaches to work and develop a deeper understanding of what is occurring.

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