Power and the Corporate Mind (1975)

Abraham Zaleznik, Manfred Kets de Vries

Power and the Corporate Mind

Power in organizations has two faces. One face looks outward, assessing the external sources of power in the structure of organizations, the allocation of riles, and the definition of responsibilities and rights. The other face looks inward, examining what goes on inside the power holder. The two faces are linked. Psychoanalysis reveals that the events in the external world that are significant to the power holder are mirrored within. People are products of experiences they have never relinquished. Personal history will always make its claim even though it operates silently and, paradoxically, usually beyond the individual’s awareness. Leadership revolves around these inward representations within power holders and within the people over whom they exercise power. The mutual expectations of leader and the led are a product of past experiences manifesting themselves in the present. Leaders receive attachments from those who surround them which are a legacy of their past experience. And a leader is caught up by his or her own past and the past of the organization over which he or she presides.

Houghton Mifflin, 1975

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