The personality of the organisation : a psycho-dynamic explanation of culture and change
The primary aim of this thesis is to put forward what is believed to be an original conceptualisation of culture relevant to understanding organisational change. There are essentially two interrelated areas of research. The first is an explanation of organisational culture. In this, I seek to show what organisational culture is, how it develops, how it is perpetuated and how it is represented. The second is the application of this concept of culture to the management of change. Here I seek to show the effects of culture on organisational change and how an understanding of it is necessary to achieve this. The conscious and unconscious processes of culture are researched from a psycho-dynamic perspective. Relying on a mixture of personal reflection and psychoanalytic theory concepts of organisation, boundaries, symbolism, learning, socialisation and creativity are put forward as background data which supports an original explanation and understanding of organisational culture. This knowledge is then applied to the management of change: first in a theoretical manner and then to an action research project in the Metropolitan Police Service. The psycho-dynamic model provides the necessary ability to examine the transference and counter-transference within the relationship between consultant and clients. The role of consultant is also viewed in regard to power and ethics. By providing what is considered to be an original conceptualisation of culture, the main contribution to knowledge is to the theory of organisations and the management of change. There are also specific contributions in the application of psychoanalytic theory of symbolism to organisations, and what is considered to be an original conceptualisation of creativity.