Psychological and psychoanalytic principles are often associated with individuals and therapist-client pairs, though they have plenty to bear on understanding and helping organizations in trouble. In particular, a psychoanalytic lens can uncover unconsciously-held beliefs members hold, about one another and about the organization as a whole, that impede effective functioning. In his new book, Discovering Organizational Identity: Dynamics of Relational Attachment (2016, University of Missouri), organizational consultant and researcher Michael Diamond explores the complex role of organizational identity in the life and success of organizations. In our interview, he explains what an organizational identity is and how its identification and articulation can help heal long-standing splits and enhance reflection and communication in even the most troubled organizations. His wisdom from 35 years of experience in this field is relevant for anyone who starts, leads, or works in an organization.
Dr. Michael Diamond is Professor Emeritus of Public Affairs and Organization Studies, University of Missouri, Columbia. His more than 35 years of writing and research are focused on the nexus of psychoanalysis, organizational politics, and culture. His prior books include The Unconscious Life of Organizations: Interpreting Organizational Identity (1993, Praeger) and Private Selves in Public Organizations (2009, Palgrave Macmillan).
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