The Body of the Organisation and its Health

Author(s) : Richard Morgan-Jones

The Body of the Organisation and its Health

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : 2010
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 316
  • Category :
    Organisational Psychology
  • Catalogue No : 28294
  • ISBN 13 : 9781855757769
  • ISBN 10 : 1855757761
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Using the frameworks of psychoanalysis, group relations, systemic organisational observation, consulting and research, this book explores the relationship between the health of the work force and the health of organisations. It seeks to do this through an exploration of experience that has three dimensions linked in a single matrix: The bodily, the emotional and the social. This exploration is inspired by Bion's original idea of the protomental matrix from which the group dynamics of basic assumption mentality are derived, leading to his initial ideas about group diseases and their cures.

Reviews and Endorsements

 Should organisations carry a health warning?
 Do they have the capacity to get under the skin?
 How do they cause emotional stress or physical ailments?
 What are the ailments that different work places infect?
 What is a healthy organisation - lower stress, less sickness or systemic effectiveness?
And importantly,
 What do the characteristic patterns of organisational ailments reveal about organisational positioning and strategy in relation to their market and environment?

These are crucial questions for directors, managers, HR, consultants, psychotherapists, counsellors and the work force.

This groundbreaking book seeks to address questions that underlie organisational health and humanity. Each chapter develops the relation between bodily experience of the individual and experience of the body of "corporate" and social organisation. An early chapter addresses the seemingly catastrophic risks of giving birth - to bodily life, emotional liveliness, and belonging. An endnote describes a death and its meaning that, like its earlier bookend, describes how we might be connected in humanity.

Leadership that contains anxiety applies the theory and practice of individual, group and organisational dynamics. In being informed by psychoanalysis, group and open-systems theory, this book seeks to develop tools for organisational change - not top down or bottom up, but outside in and inside out.

 How are the individual's defences against emotional conflicts embodied in the work group?
 What draws people to specific kinds of workplace and work group culture?
 How do the complex bodily, emotional and social experiences of work interact?
 What makes people go sick or stay at work when they are unwell?

More than that, how can we begin to define the spirit or soul of an organisation in a way that goes beyond its morale, its esprit de corps? And if there is such a thing, how can thoughtfulness about it provide a nourishing skin to "keep body and soul together" under the fire of overstretched working lives, and the often disjointed complex of inter-related systems that contemporary organisations comprise?

Contents
- The Body of the Organisation and its Health
- Birth of the Body, Birth of the Mind, Birth of the Social
- Protomentality by Nuno Torres
- Group body, group skin
- Retainment of staff: Towards a Collective Work Ethic in Managing Presence and Absence
- Social stress related epidemic diseases: Failures in Emotional Containment by Nuno Torres
- Management of the risk of Re-cycling Trauma
- Tackling Shamelessness Violations: Can Restorative Justice Meet the Case?
- Financial Bodies called to Account: Corporate risks of carrying fear and greed on behalf of the body politic by Kevin Dixon and Richard Morgan-Jones
- From Psycho-somatics to Socio-somatics: Health risks to individual and organisational bodies in psychotherapy

About the Author(s)

Richard Morgan-Jones is an organisational consultant and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist with a practice in Eastbourne, UK. He directs Work Force Health: Consulting and Research. His original education was at Cambridge, Oxford and Exeter Universities in Anthropology, Theology and Education. He worked at the National Institute for Social Work in London 1980-1992 as a consultant and trainer where he developed a course in consulting skills.

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