Ideology, Conflict, and Leadership in Groups and Organizations

Otto Kernberg

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In this book a psychoanalytic clinician and theoretician of world renown integrates current knowledge of the psychodynamics of individuals, groups, and organizations into a new theoretical framework. Dr. Otto F. Kernberg shows how the interplay of libidinal and aggressive impulses enacted within the dynamic unconscious of the individual also occurs at the level of groups and social organizations. He sheds new light on the turbulent nature of human interactions in groups, suggests how this understanding may help to resolve conflicts at the group and institutional levels, and provides a model for achieving effective institutional change.

Dr. Kernberg applies his integrative frame to the analysis of the regressive processes in groups, the nature of institutional leadership, and the conditions of rational functioning that may protect the organization from the most dangerous consequences of regressive group processes. To illustrate the therapeutic uses of the model, he considers its applications to group therapy and the therapeutic community; to illustrate its consultative potential, he includes a section on problems in psychoanalytic organizations. In conclusion, the author extends his theoretical framework to the social sciences, proposing contributions to the psychology of ideology formation, bureaucracy, conventionality, and the political process.

Otto F. Kernberg, M.D., is director of the Personality Disorders Institute at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Westchester Division; professor of psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College; and training and supervising analyst at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He is president of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He is also the author of Aggression in Personality Disorders and Perversions, Love Relations: Normality and Pathology, and Severe Personality Disorders, published by Yale University Press.

A selection of the Psychotherapy Book Club

"Must reading for anyone concerned for the welfare of professional, religious, or scientific organizations."—David A. Carlson, M.D.

"A particularly relevant book for those with backgrounds in systems, groups, or health administration. This excellent work strives to balance individual and organizational dynamics. Kernberg is one of the few psychoanalysts who apply psychoanalytic and systems theories to organizations. . . . [An] excellent collection."— Edward B. Klein, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

"While Ideology, Conflict, and Leadership is rich in practical considerations based on Kernberg's extensive experience in groups, the reader will be exposed also to a theoretical orientation that will stimulate debate among psychoanalytic students of group behavior. . . . Kernberg has made a noteworthy contribution to psychoanalysis."—Abraham Zaleznik, Politics

"Kernberg shows an exquisite understanding of the complex links between individual and organizational psychodynamics. . . . Few contributions are as succinct and helpful as Kernberg's observations."—Kenneth Eisold, Psychoanalytic Books

"Groundbreaking. . . . Breathtakingly original and inspiring. . . . Psychoanalytic readers should treasure it, as it is about one of the new and exciting frontiers of applied psychoanalysis. . . . A landmark work."—Kerry J. Sulkowicz, Psychoanalytic Quarterly

ISBN: 9780300073553
Publication Date: June 16, 1998
335 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4

Toward the Second Century

Edited by Arnold Cooper, Ethel Person, and Otto Kernberg

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Aggressivity, Narcissism, and Self-Destructiveness in the Psychotherapeutic Relationship

New Developments in the Psychopathology and Psychotherapy of Severe Personality Disorders

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Severe Personality Disorders

Psychotherapeutic Strategies

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Love Relations

Normality and Pathology

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