Corporations, as well as people, can be neurotic – paranoid, compulsive, depressive. Sometimes a neurosis reflects the leadership style of the top executive, but it can come to permeate the organization at all levels. At other times the neurosis has developed over the years as part of an irrational organizational culture. But whatever their origins, neuroses threaten an organization’s well-bring and even its continued survival. Unconventional measures are often needed to restore the neurotic organization to health.
This book offers an authoritative discussion of the irrational forces at work in organizations. It integrates psychiatric and psychology findings and insights with management and organizational behavior theory to reveal the underlying causes of many organizational problems. With numerous intriguing vignettes and case histories, it details five different organizational neuroses – paranoid, compulsive, dramatic, depressive, and schizoid – and shows how each affects planning, decision making, organizational cultures, and individual executives.
Based on their extensive experience as management consultants, the authors offer numerous examples and case studies that illustrate ways of diagnosing problems and promoting individual and organizational change. Revealing why organizational problems often seem intractable, they expose patterns of neurotic behavior at every level form the overall organization to departments and groups, two-person relationships, and individuals. They uncover the underlying causes behind such problematic organizational behavior as repeated abrupt changes in direction, excessive studies that never lead to action, cults of secrecy, and other counterproductive patterns. And they discuss how groups within organizations can lose touch with reality by creating shared fantasies. They also explain ways of dealing with psychological conflicts and working for positive change within organizations. Offering advice to executives at various stages in their careers, they investigate psychological barriers to growth and change – and detail ways of overcoming them.
- In French as "L'Entreprise Nevrosée". Published by McGraw Hill International, Paris (1985)
- In Dutch as "De Neurotische Organisatie". Published by Børsen, Amsterdam (1987); pocket edition (1990)
- In Spanish as "La Organización Neurotica". Published by Clasicos del Management, Apostrofe, Barcelona (1993) Published by Mentor Books, paperback edition (1988)
- In Italian as "l'Organizzazione Neurotica". Published by Raeffaelo Corfina, Milano (1992)
- In Japanese (1994). Paperback edition, published by Harper & Row, (1991)
Parts reprinted in The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, MacLeans, The Economist, J. Pierce and J. Newstrom's The Manager's Bookshelf (Harper & Row, 1988), Gareth Morgan's Creative Organization's Theory, (Sage, 1989), J-F Chanlat's L' Individu dans l'organization (Laval University Press, 1990).
The Irrational Executive is a compilation to counter this bias in management theory. Focusing on unconscious as well as conscious internal processes, and strongly influenced by contemporary psychoanalytic theory, the contributors argue persuasively against the rationalist model.
Published on 1 Nov, 1984
Unstable at the Top shows just how certain aspects of a CEO’s personality can affect his managerial style and contribute to the decline – sometimes temporary, sometimes not – of his organization.
Published on 31 Dec, 1987
We know where we are with a fairy story. There is a cast of predictable characters, the hero or heroine is submitted to terrible trials, cruelty, and injustice but in the end the baddies get their comeuppance, good triumphs, and everyone lives happily ever after. In this book Manfred Kets de Vries, one of the world's leading authorities on the psychology of leadership, and a pioneering practitioner in the field of psychodynamic executive coaching, draws on the format of traditional fairy tales and tells us five stories that dramatize five key themes of dysfunctional leadership. Now available in Korean 리더는어떻게평면표지, Doublebook, Seoul, Republic of Korea, March 2017.
Published on 1 Mar, 2017
This book presents eclectic advice on how things really work in organisations, by combining the dismal science of management and the impossible profession of psychoanalysis.
Published on 16 Aug, 1995
At this critical junction in the history of humankind, leaders that are proficient in magical thinking aren’t going to solve our problems. Creating alternative realities is not the answer. We need a very different kind of leadership―leaders who can resist the calls of regression and whose outlook is firmly based in reality. We need leaders who analyse and draw conclusions from, or use their own experiences as a development tool, face their strengths and weaknesses, and critique their own experiences in order to build new understandings.
Published on 30 Nov, 2020
In this book of insightful essays, Kets de Vries explodes the myth that rationality is what governs the behaviour of leaders and followers and provides a more realistic perspective on organisational functioning and the leader-follower relationship.
Published on 13 Aug, 2003
This book takes us inside the despotic mind to understand what their actions are all about; to comprehend the source of their actions and to recognise the danger signs.
Published on 10 Aug, 2005
"Rescuer syndrome and excessive helping behavior"
In this article the author explores the problem of excessive helping behavior—The Rescuer Syndrome—with particular reference to executive coaching.
Published on 9 Dec, 2010
Struggling with the Demon examines the search for meaning in human activity and highlights the values that foster commitment and involvement and, ultimately, success.
Published on 1 Jan, 2001
"Leadership by terror: Saddam Hussein"
This working paper investigates leadership by terror, a form of leadership that is both an ageless phenomenon and a contemporary problem.
Published on 1 Apr, 2003