Larry Hirschhorn 2021 Extending the Tavistock Model - notes

Source article: Larry Hirschhorn, Extending the Tavistock model: bringing desire, danger, dread, and excitement into a theory of organizational process. Organisational & Social Dynamics 21(1) 114-133 (2021)

(p. 114) Tavistock model central focus: the actual work that groups and organizations must accomplish to survive and succeed.

(p. 115) how the psychodynamics of organizations shapes strategic choice and developmental change

  • how anxiety shapes our core understanding of organizational psychodynamics
  • how open systems theory provides a model of the well-functioning organization in which anxiety is contained
  • how sociotechnical system thinking amplifies the idea of the well-functioning organization by considering issues of alienation and work satisfaction
  • in satisfying work settings, desire stimulates an abstract future, and also creates feelings of excitement, danger, and dread, as well as a contest for authority
  • how desire and the link to new primary task(s) stimulate politics and an experience of primary risk
  • the idea of developmental defences and structures - and a next step for psychoanalytic informed theory of organizational development

The presenting question becomes: can organizations tolerate the friction sufficiently in order to take advantage of desire and its consequences?


/ the value in this essay is in LH's developmental model ideas //
/ this is shown in Table 1, on p. 132, and has been edited to reflect my understandings //
an image with no alt text