The Psychodynamics of Toxic Organizations: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Psychodynamics of Toxic Organizations

1st Edition

By Howard F Stein, Seth Allcorn


256 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780367442354
pub: 2020-08-05
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 5th August 2020

FREE Standard Shipping!


Understanding experience at work, especially in toxic organizations, is a multidimensional undertaking that must include all senses. The use of applied poetry has its primary value as an evocative approach to sensing, knowing, and understanding workplace experience. Poetry at its best condenses into relatively few words, metaphors, and images what conventional social science narratives would take much longer to articulate. Where poetry often hints and alludes, narrative seeks to spell out, expound, and complete. Where poetry leaves much mental space for the listener or reader to fill in with one’s imagination, narrative fills in the spaces with rich detail. Applied poetry and its contextual stories offer a way of accessing workplace experience that is unique and valuable in terms of understanding lives at work. The use of complementary psychodynamic theories, like all theories, is a way of trying to account for what we have found and experienced and in particular why it happened. "Why," the authors suggest, is critical in terms of understanding the sensing, images, and metaphors evoked by the poetry and stories that may resonate with hearers and readers for reasons that are unconscious and are rooted in the past. These transferences that come forward from past life experience into the present are the critical data we work with. These are the data of psychoanalysis. This book both widens and deepens the scope of organizational research offered by other researchers, theorists, and approaches to understanding, interpreting, explaining, leading, and consulting with workplace organizations. Its triangular integration of applied poetry, experience and stories behind the poetry, and the three psychoanalytic models of explaining life in workplaces, is a new and distinct contribution to organizational research, leadership, and consulting efforts to help organization members to solve real, underlying problems, and not offer simplistic, formulaic solutions based solely on a study of the organization’s surface. It will be of interest to researchers, academics, and students in the fields of organizational studies, leadership, and management.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Applied Poetry and Storytelling 2. Introduction to Psychoanalytic Theories 3. Leaders in the Workplace 4. Downsizing the Workplace 5. Alienation and Bureaucracy at Work 6. Loss of Self: Disappearance into Anonymity 7. Conflict at Work 8. Life at Work in Hospitals and Clinics: Modern Medicine and Us 9. Meetings at Work 10. Psychographic Considerations at Work 11. Playing with Perspective: The Workplace on the Stage 12. In Conclusion: Reflections, Looking Backward and Forward on Knowing and Feeling in the Workplace

About the Authors

Howard F. Stein is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, USA. Seth Allcorn is the former Vice President for Business and Finance at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, USA. He has more than twenty years of experience working with physicians, hospitals and academic medical centers and organizational consultant specializing in the management of change, strategic planning and organizational restructuring.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society

Management, Organizations and Society represents innovative work grounded in new realities; addressing issues crucial to an understanding of the contemporary world. This is the world of organized societies, where boundaries between formal and informal, public and private, local and global organizations have been displaced or vanished along with other nineteenth century dichotomies and oppositions. Management, apart from becoming a specialised profession for a growing number of people, is an everyday activity for most members of modern societies. Management, Organizations and Society will address these contemporary dynamics of transformation in a manner that transcends disciplinary boundaries, with work which will appeal to researchers, students and practitioners alike.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Development