An Absence of Being: A Jungian-Based Model for Understanding Situational Management In Public Organizations

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2004-09-08

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Virginia Tech

Abstract

Traditional management-leadership and organizational literature depicts the individual as conflated with their role and instructs them to handle their employees and the situations that arise daily and over the course of business cycles instrumentally and for the purposes of control and productivity. This more traditional and mainstream literature does not adequately address, if at all, the unconscious factors influencing people or the management situations in which they find themselves. Using a model based upon the theory of the Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung and the relationship of consciousness to the unconscious, this dissertation looks at situational management cases and reveals the existence of the unconscious in the midst of our strongest claims to rationality. Present and active, the cases show the unconscious to be a significant factor in creating subjective meaning and ordering our world even in the most "rational" moments of our lives in public administration. They further describe how it is that the individual in the manager-leader role is implicated in and caused by the very situations they are attempting to manage and the way in which acknowledging and relating to the unconscious provides an additional resource for public managers.

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Keywords

systems, learning, individuation, transformation, ego-Self axis, situation, organizational change, development, archetypes, projection, reflective practice, persona, group process, Leadership, Management, theory, unconscious, analytical psychology, Jungian, process consultation, depth-psychology

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