The Dysfunctional Workplace: Theory, Stories, and Practice (Advances in Organizational Psychodynamics)

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9780826220653: The Dysfunctional Workplace: Theory, Stories, and Practice (Advances in Organizational Psychodynamics)
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This book explores an aspect of organizational life that is at times difficult to acknowledge and often painful to recall. Stories invite reflection and the development of greater understanding of organizational dynamics. This fresh scholarship provides a theoretical framework for discussion. Throughout this book, Allcorn and Stein utilize a psychoanalytically informed perspective to help readers understand why a leader, colleague or friend behaves in ways that are destructive of others and the organization and provides a basis for organizations to survive and thrive in a dysfunctional workplace.

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This book explores the dark, dysfunctional nature of organizations and the experience of working in them. The authors offer dozens of stories of workplace dysfunction and use a psychoanalytically informed perspective to help readers understand why a leader, colleague, or friend behaves in ways that are destructive to others and to the organization.

The work is divided into three parts: theory, stories, and practice. Topics covered in the first section include the value of storytelling, an overview of competing paradigms in analysis, and the value of psychoanalysis and its explanatory power. This is followed by chapters on case stories organized by theme and a conclusion that explores the implications of the research and analytic practice.

The engaging stories are drawn from events the authors have experienced or observed, and from their roles as professional consultants. Subjects range from the consequences egotistical and shortsighted leaders can have on organizations, to details such as the effect a suddenly empty desk has on staff in the office. This fresh scholarship provides the basis for studying the workplace, organizational dynamics, and management. By posing questions and providing analysis, the authors seek to make the reader a “virtual consultant” participating in answering the questions the stories inevitably raise. This is followed by the authors’ own analysis of the case studies, addressing those same questions and offering reflections on how organizations might be managed so as to minimize dysfuction.

About the Author:

Seth Allcorn is the former Vice President for Business and Finance at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. He has served as a financial and administrative Assistant Dean at the Texas Tech School of Medicine and Associate Dean for the Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola–Chicago.

Howard F. Stein is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, he taught from 1978-2012. Dr. Stein is also a Research Associate of the Center for the Study of Organizational Change at the University of Missouri.

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