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Stein, H.F. (2004). Countertransference and Organizational Knowing: New Frontiers and Old Truths. Free Associations, 11(3):325-337.

(2004). Free Associations, 11(3):325-337


Countertransference and Organizational Knowing: New Frontiers and Old Truths

Howard F. Stein

‘Our counter-transference is frequently the only guide.’ (Rosenfeld, 1952, p. 126)

This paper explores the psychological reality of organizations via the researcher or consultant's countertransference. The disciplined subjectivity of the observer/consultant reveals crucial data about what it feels like to work in the organization and hence about the organization ‘itself’. A brief discussion of countertransference in psychoanalysis is followed by two vignettes that illustrate how countertransference might work in the service of organizational understanding and change.

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