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Elieli, R.B. (2004). Ideology, Conflict and Leadership in Groups and Organizations, Otto F. Kernberg, Yale University Press, 1998.. Organ. Soc. Dyn., 4(1):153-157.
    

(2004). Organizational and Social Dynamics, 4(1):153-157

Ideology, Conflict and Leadership in Groups and Organizations, Otto F. Kernberg, Yale University Press, 1998.

Review by:
Rina Bar-Lev Elieli, Ph.D.

Psychoanalysts do not usually think of psychoanalysis and the theory and practice of social systems, as two entities of the same broad open system, two theoretical domains that share a boundary that enables them to function collaboratively, to give to and receive from each other, and to respect the fact that each of them has to look both inside and outside to the environment they live in, share and serve for each other, in order to survive and be influential.

Otto F. Kernberg is one of a handful of analysts who profoundly recognize the value and significance that the theoretical world of the individual holds for the world of groups, but also vice versa. If nothing else, this book is an important contribution because it sheds light on an entire area that is not very often related to by analysts, and not sufficiently by organizational and group people. But of course there is much more.

O. F. Kernberg's enthusiasm, interest, deep knowledge, conviction and investment in exploring the unconscious aspects of social systems, groups and organizations, is clearly shown and expressed in this book: Ideology, Conflict and Leadership in Groups and Organizations.

In his book, he presents us with a theoretical frame integrating our present-day knowledge regarding the psychodynamics of individuals, groups, and organizations. He spells out this integrative frame and applies it to the analysis of regressive processes in groups, to the nature of institutional leadership, and to the conditions of rational organizational functioning that may protect the organization from the most dangerous consequences of inevitable regressive group processes. He tries to illustrate the potential therapeutic, curative and reparatory uses of this model, by bringing examples from his own personal rich experience as an analyst, who has always had leading and managing roles in organizations and groups. O.

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