The Surface of Organizational Boundaries: A View from Psychoanalytic Object Relations Theory

Journal Article or Monograph

Title: The Surface of Organizational Boundaries: A View from Psychoanalytic Object Relations Theory
Year: 2004
Authors: Diamond, M. M., Allcorn, S., & Stein, H.

Organizational life contains many influences. Among these are its many divisions, sections, departments, professions and groups. The presence of these constituent parts of an organization directs attention to the points at which they connect to each other. Contemporary discussion of the relationship of these parts is confined to exploring organizational boundaries that contain a conceptual concreteness that belies their ultimate experiential significance. We suggest that the notion of boundary may be extended to explore their sensate surfaces that contain primitive, pre-verbal, pre-symbolic, and pre-subjective characteristics. Human beings experience the world as surface-to-surface contact where tactile sensation reveals hardness or softness, warmth or cold, pattern and shape, and most of all a sense at the point of surface-to-surface contact of containment. We suggest that it is within the autistic-contiguous mode of experience that the sensation of organizational boundaries is located and with it the ultimate psychological meaning of organizational structure.

Keywords: autistic-contiguous, organizational boundaries, paranoid-schizoid, silos, surfaces
Language: English

Journal: Human Relations
Volume: 57
Issue: 1
Start page: 31
End page: 53
Publisher ID: DOI: 10.1177/0018726704042713

Submitted by:
Michael Diamond

Corresponding author:

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