Competition: Some Reflections on its archetypal roots and its effects on today's organizations

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Title: Competition: Some Reflections on its archetypal roots and its effects on today's organizations
Year: 2006
Authors: van den Hooff, H.

This paper reflects on how the required sense of reality for organizations to set their strategic course vis-à-vis the competition may be impaired by the constellation of archetypal forces in the unconscious of the organization. Analytical Psychology's central notions of archetype and complex are briefly (re-)introduced. Hereafter, a concise description of the school-book strategy development process for organizations is presented. Two archetypes and their associated complexes are described: Heracles and Ares. It is speculated how these complexes may cloud healthy decision making. Parallels between the possible workings of these processes and recent troubles in a number of companies such as Shell, Swissair, Enron and Ahold are explored.. The paper concludes with some thoughts on how the risk of such complexes constellating may be reduced.

Keywords: Archetypes, complexes, Jung, Strategy development
Language: English

Date: 6/23/2006
Location: Amsterdam
Name of Event/Conference: 23rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Psychoanalytical Study of Organizations
Sponsoring Organization: ISPSO

Submitted by:
Hans van den Hooff
Executive Coaching
Private practice

Corresponding author:

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