There is evidence of a movement from “a culture of narcissism” toward elements of a perverse culture. This book brings forth and examines the evidence as it reveals itself through one of the major institutions of our time: the work organization.
Corporations and organizations for work are major centers of social activity. In many senses they provide a critical source of identity for their members, just as do families and religions. Their examination gives access to most of the dynamics operating within our society and reveals some of the deeper assumptions upon which our lives are based. To call them simply a reflection of human social organization and proclivity, perhaps is to underrate the importance of themselves shaping today’s psyche. To look at the formation of perverse practice, structure and culture within organizations is also to look at that development in society more broadly.
"This is the book we've been waiting for, and for so long. A psychoanalytically inspired and politically informed look at contemporary organizational life which takes us from the mysteries of the New York Stock Exchange via Calisto Tanzi (Italy's Robert Maxwell) to the dynamics of envy in professional associations. How rarely one comes across someone who can integrate Bion, Lacan and Klein with critical social and organisational theory to produce an accessible book of vital contemporary relevance. This book signifies the coming-of-age of Bion's belief in the creative and disruptive possibilities of a psychoanalysis anchored in the life of the group."
-- Paul Hoggett, Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for Psychosocial Studies, University of the West of England
"Susan Long chronicles Enron, Palamat, and many other corporations to identify the underlying psycho-dynamics of perverse organizations. These exist not only because of key role-holders' narcissism and greed, but also because of their ability to spin corporate narratives to sustain their lies and deceit. When the whistle is blown and the hubris fails, employees are caught in the fallout of the collusive conspiracy and, ultimately, lose."
-- W. Gordon Lawrence, Managing Partner of Social Dreaming Ltd, Visiting Professor, University of Northumberland, Newcastle
About the Author; Preface; 1) The Perverse Organisation; 2) Understanding the Perverse State of Mind; 3) Perverse Pride; 4) Perverse Greed; 5) Envy; 6) Sloth and Neglect; 7) Perverse Wrath; 8) The consumer-Provider Pair; References; Index.
About the Author:
Susan Long is Professor of Creative and Sustainable Organizations at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Australia. She is editor of Socio-Analysis and a Board member and past President of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations.