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.