Workplace within: Psychodynamics of Organizational Life (MIT Press series on organization studies)
The post-industrial age has brought with it a new work environment, complete with new forms of organization and patterns of behavior. It has also created new anxieties for workers and for organizations. In this revealing study, Larry Hirschhorn looks at the social defenses organizations develop to cope with change. Using extended case studies and examples from offices, factories, and social services, he describes why these defenses exist, how they operate, and how they can be reshaped to enhance people's work experience.Unlike traditional studies of the workplace which have tended to focus only on the firm's conscious values, attitudes and norms, "The Workplace Within weaves together psychoanalytic studies, theories of organizations as sociotechnical settings, and conceptions of post-industrial society to uncover the hidden, irrational, and unconscious mechanisms that pattern organizational behavior. It challenges the traditional view that economics or the "bottom line" is the sole, or even the primary, motivating force behind the behavior of work organizations.Hirschhorn examines three major forms of social defense: the basic assumption, the covert coalition, and the organizational ritual. Each is a group behavior that in some way helps contain the anxiety of working; yet each is self-limiting, or even self-defeating. He concludes that the post-industrial work system is double-edged. In supervising total systems of production and working increasingly across departments and units, people are brought closer to the product of their work, while experiencing increased anxiety. Hirschhorn describes the "reparative organization" as one solution to this dilemma; however, he asserts that theultimate resolution lies outside the organization and in the society's culture of work, demanding a reconstruction of our political economy.Larry Hirschhorn is principal and senior research manager at the Wharton Center for Applied Research, and author of "Beyond Mechanization (MIT Press paperback). "The Workplace Within was shaped partly by the author's extensive consulting experience and is unique in integrating both theory and practice to illuminate organizational behaviors. The book is included in the series Organization Studies, edited by John Van Maanen.
Specifications of Workplace within: Psychodynamics of Organizational Life (MIT Press series on organization studies)
|Number Of Pages||280|
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