Psychotic Organization as a Metaphoric Frame for the Socio-Analysis of Organizational and Interorganizational Dynamics

Journal Article or Monograph

Title: Psychotic Organization as a Metaphoric Frame for the Socio-Analysis of Organizational and Interorganizational Dynamics
Year: 1999
Authors: Sievers, B.
Abstract:

The notion of the pathological organization provides a starting frame for better
understanding irrationality and madness in organizations, profit and non-profit
organizations alike. It has been used up to now by various psychoanalytic authors in
their attempt to gain a better understanding of severe personality disturbances caused
by pathological fixation, a splitting of bad and good parts or a liaison of fragments under
the dominance of an omnipotent narcissistic personality structure. The concept originally
referred to the narrow frame of individual ego-organization, but it is argued that the
notion of the psychotic organization provides a useful metaphoric frame for application to
social organizations. The attempt is made to apply the metaphor to various
organizational and interorganizational contexts: the intraorganizational dynamics of
hospitals, the interorganizational relatedness of the hostile takeover of an enterprise,
and the increasing dominance of the shareholder value optimization in a global context.
The attempt at ignoring and denying psychotic organizational dynamics is vain,
resembling the futile efforts to escape a plague which is devastating the country – so
lucidly described by Edgar Allan Poe (1980) in his story "The Mask of the Red Death".

Keywords: Psychotic organization, psychoses, socioanalysis
Language: English


Journal: Administration & Society
Volume: 31
Issue: 5
Start page: 588
End page: 615
ISSN:
Publisher ID:

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Corresponding author:

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