Bricks Without Mortar: The Decline of Sentience in Global Oranizations

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Title: Bricks Without Mortar: The Decline of Sentience in Global Oranizations
Year: 2005
Authors: Krantz, J., & Gould, L.

Much has been written about the confluence of many powerful forces that have contributed to shaping organizational life. Among the most commonly cited are: globalization; new, unfamiliar markets requiring the ability to work across ethnic, cultural and linguistic boundaries; the flattening of organizational structures, as an alternative to hierarchical forms of power, authority and influence, necessitating more collaborative, influence-based models of work; matrix forms of work design and the multiple reporting relationships they require; constant restructurings, manifested in shifting relationships with colleagues and managers; and the increasingly common creation of virtual groups and teams to manage the work in dispersed, decentralized organizations.

Few of these factors, separately or taken in combination, offer more than a descriptive framework for understanding the dilemmas of a great many contemporary organizations. Our aim in this paper is to provide a working hypothesis and supporting case material which draws explanatory links between the factors, and what we hypothesize as the emergence of paranoid/schizoid organizational cultures as the norm, with their corresponding dysfunctional features.

Our hypothesis is that the factors noted above have a common theme - namely, the rise of relatedness and the decline of relationships. Building on this notion, we attempt to show that this phenomenon accounts for paranoid/schizoid organizational environments. Relationships, with the reality of connection they provide, for better or worse, tend to facilitate the creation of a sentient culture of cohesiveness, gratification and reality testing, via the ordinary feedback of interpersonal commerce. By contrast, as a result of the factors noted, a culture of relationship no longer characterizes dominant forms of work collaboration in many ' especially global - organizations. Rather, relatedness (relationships-in-the-mind, not modulated by direct face-to face contact) often dominates the interpersonal landscape, providing a fertile ground for persecutory fantasies, both conscious and unconscious.

Keywords: sentience, unconscious process, persecutory culture, globalization
Language: English

Date: 11/16/2005
Location: London, England
Name of Event/Conference: OPUS Conference
Sponsoring Organization: OPUS

Submitted by:
James Krantz

Corresponding author:

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