Many parallels can be drawn between organizational and individual pathologies. We believe that the fantasies of top executives and the neurotic styles to which they give rise are important determinants of the nature of organizational dysfunctions. This is particularly true in centralized organizations where the top executives have a major impact upon organizational climate, structure, strategy and even the selection of the environment; and, where organizational recruitment and promotion processes ensure uniformity, or at least conformity, among the top ranks of executives. Using an empirically derived taxonomy, we have isolated five common pathological organizational types and related each of these to the fantasies and neurotic styles of their top executives. Each type is shown to reflect a large number of elements of structure and strategy that are consistent with and probably caused by the neurotic style of the cadre of top executives. The types are called paranoid, compulsive, histrionic, depressive and schizoid. Implications for management research and organizational change are discussed.
Strategic Management Journal – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1984
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