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Allcorn, S. (2015). Understanding Organisational Dynamics and Leadership: A Comparison of Four Perspectives. Organ. Soc. Dyn., 15(2):181-209.

(2015). Organizational and Social Dynamics, 15(2):181-209


Understanding Organisational Dynamics and Leadership: A Comparison of Four Perspectives

Seth Allcorn, Ph.D., MBA

Understanding organisations and their dynamics is a complex task that is informed by applying theoretical perspectives to what is learned from working within and observing them. Theoretical perspectives provide a cognitive map that helps to organise the experiential and concrete data from participation and observation. This article has as its task reviewing four helpful perspectives. Two of these, organisational culture and organisational identity, explore the less apparent, out of awareness, and unconscious aspects of organisational dynamics and life. The remaining two perspectives, basic assumption groups and a typology of regressive and defensive workplace groups, explore the dynamic nature of the many types of groups that are found in the workplace. These four perspectives are operationalised for inspection by applying them to three case vignettes that happened in organisations in the last ten years. The result of this work is a deeper appreciation of the differences, strengths, and weaknesses of each perspective and how together they provide leaders, followers, consultants, and researchers insight in the workplace.

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