Characters in Search of a Theatre: Organization as Theatre for the Drama of Childhood and the Drama at Work

Journal Article or Monograph

Title: Characters in Search of a Theatre: Organization as Theatre for the Drama of Childhood and the Drama at Work
Year: 1995
Authors: Sievers, B.

Organizations are seen as theatres in which potentially two dramas are enacted

simultaneously: the drama of one's childhood and the drama at work.

Performance in either of these dramas is related to an experience of suffering.

If this suffering becomes pathogenic, both people's health and performance at

work deteriorates. Organizations have, however, the possibility of creating a

setting in which this suffering can be creatively transcended.

Luigi Pirandello's play 'Six Characters in Search of an Author' serves as a

metaphor to expand on both the interrelatedness of these two dramas and the

possibility for creative transformation of the suffering involved.

Two case vignettes from organizations will be presented in which pathogenic

suffering might be creatively transcended by exploring and reframing the

conflictious situations they describe. They also demonstrate that unless people

in organizations claim authorship and authority for the organizational roles in

which they find themselves, they remain but 'characters' who tend to repeat

their own drama of childhood, rather than of attempting to transcend it in a

creative way.

Keywords: Organization as theatre, drama of childhood, drama at work, suffering, Pirandello, authority
Language: English

Journal: Free Associations
Volume: 5
Issue: 2
Start page: 196
End page: 220
Publisher ID:

Submitted by:
Burkard Sievers

Corresponding author:

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