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Maltz, M. (2012). Learning to Reflect, Act and Learn: Organizational Thinking Born of Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Dial., 22(5):565-568.
(2012). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22(5):565-568
Learning to Reflect, Act and Learn: Organizational Thinking Born of Psychoanalysis
Marc Maltz, M.B.A.
The system forming in this conversation between Alice Mann, Andrew Samuels, Limor Kaufman, Kenneth Eisold, and me is similar to what leaders and members face in their organizations, many thoughts about a subject, many approaches, many opinions, and some opposing views. Life in organizations, ALL organizations, is messy. ALL organizations, nonprofit, for profit, volunteer, family, government, and so on, can suffer from the same ailments and experience similar dynamics. As I think about my own life in organizations, from the family business in which I was raised, to the schools where I studied, to the small businesses I worked as a student, to the large corporations where I was employed, to the places I have taught, to the organizations to which I have consulted, they all have had issues of leadership, structure, and purpose (Maltz, 2008). And, more importantly, they all faced psychodynamic forces that were compelling yet rarely understood. While the forces that drive and restrain (Lewin, 1943) success flourish in all organizations, it is rare that they are explored.
My training has been a journey through these forces. As a young executive at AT&T in the 1970s and 1980s, I was given ample opportunity to learn about business and organizations. I was sent for an M.B.A., postgraduate work in technology, strategy, and finance, all of which built my confidence and effectiveness as a corporate manager. Though, AT&T also introduced me to “T-groups” at NTL, psychometric testing, and Group Relations (A.
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