1st Edition

Love and Loneliness at Work An Inspirational Guide for Consultants, Leaders and Other Professionals

    158 Pages
    by Routledge

    158 Pages
    by Routledge

    Love and loneliness, in both their presence and absence, are key aspects of our lives –  including our working lives.

    Love and Loneliness at Work offers an accessible and practical starting point for understanding the connections between emotions, individual working life and organizations, focusing on love and loneliness. The book begins with an engaging chapter-length case study that illuminates the themes discussed. Taking a psychodynamic perpective, Bonnerup and Hasselager examine love and how it influences our feelings about tasks, organizations and participation, as well as uniquely exploring pairs in working life. The book explores loneliness as an inner state of mind, as an aspect of the professional role and as a group dynamic experience, and assesses the psychological burden of feeling lonely in an organization. Bonnerup and Hasselager also provide an overview of key theoretical concepts, including the unconscious, anxiety, libido, projective processes, and the concepts of inner and outer self, providing the tools required to examine, understand and work with the emotional strength and vulnerability of an organization.

    This book provides unique insights into how understanding these feelings can help leaders, decision makers and employees contribute to healthier and happier workplaces. It will be an essential guide for coaches in practice and in training, as well as leaders and managers, human resources (HR) and learning and development (L&D) professionals and consultants within organizations seeking to expand their understanding of organizational dynamics. With its strong theoretical base, it will also be of interest to academics and students of coaching, coaching psychology, psychodynamic consulting, organizational psychology, leadership and management and organizational change, and to anyone seeking an insight into the emotional dynamics of working life.

    Introduction;  Chapter 1:  Love and Loneliness at Food for Fridays;  Chapter 2: Love;  Chapter 3: Loneliness;  Chapter 4: Theory;  References;  Index.


    Birgitte Bonnerup and Annemette Hasselager are psychologists and qualified supervisors in organizational psychology. They are partners in Bonnerup & Hasselager, where they work as organizational psychologists and therapists with individuals, groups and organizations. They are external lecturers at Roskilde University, Denmark, and they write books and articles on organizational psychology. Their website can be found at www.bonnerup-hasselager.dk.

    "The authors and translator have produced a richly accessible book in everyday language. Stories are beautifully described as are characters and relationships at work. This texture of being true to life will make it among the best go-to books in the field of the dynamics of working organisations. It plumbs the depth of the love and loneliness that we all enjoy and suffer at work and provides a key chapter on the usefulness of psychoanalytic theory to tell us where to look." - Richard Morgan-Jones, psychoanalytic psychotherapist and consultant; author of The Body of the Organisation and its Health

    "The themes of love and loneliness as fundamental dimensions of life in organisations have been curiously under-examined until now. This book provides the remedy. The simple definition, ‘libido meets the external world and something happens’ highlights the primacy of what we commonly call love. Without it, nothing would ever happen. There is something compelling about the way the authors have used love and loneliness to take the reader on a deep (yet very accessible) dive into the emotional life of organisations and why it matters. This book is bound to become a classic!" - Brigid Nossal, Deputy CEO & Director Consulting NIODA

    "With this book Bonnerup and Hasselager are taking new land under the plough. We already have a lot of research and writings about sexual harassment and the in relation to gender unjust distribution of management and leadership positions in organizations. But the maybe for far more people more relevant everyday life experience of love and loneliness at the work place has not until now got the attention it deserves. The book takes us through many living cases and examples and provide the reader with a deeper understanding by the use of a psychoanalytic/psychodynamic lens."- Steen Visholm, Professor, Ph.D,; Director of the master program in Organizational Psychology MPO and of Center for Organizational Psychology COP, Roskilde University, Denmark; President elect of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations, ISPSO

    "Two Danish psychologists, Hasselager and Bonnerup, have produced a useful book on the role of emotions at work aimed at coaches, organisational consultants and human resource practitioners.

    Both authors are influential members of ISPSO: International Society for the Psychoanalytic Studies of Organisations. It therefore comes naturally to them to base their book on the psychoanalytic approach. Important concepts from the psychoanalytic theory: the unconscious, anxiety, libido, attachment, envy, projective identification etc are critically explored and clearly defined.

    The strength of the book comes from the way in which love and loneliness at work, the two main themes, are woven into several case studies, each showing the unconscious dynamics at play within a systemic organisational setting." - Halina Brunning, psychologist; coach; author; ISPSO member