Can organisations make people ill?

In my previous post1 I argued that rather than talk about corporate or organisational pathology it might make more sense to speak of corporate pathologisation or the pathological effects of corporate life.  Otherwise we end up treating the organisation itself as the pathological subject, which creates all kinds of conceptual and practical difficulties. However, this […]

Corporate pathology revisited

A while ago I wrote a number of posts relating to what I described as ‘corporate pathology’, and linking this closely with the crisis in the financial industry.  However, as I argued in at least one of these posts1, the concept of a ‘pathological’ corporation or organisation is not without its problems – both conceptually […]

Corporate pathology?

As a psychoanalytic practitioner one of the things that has always intrigued me is whether social institutions or formations can be ‘pathological’, in the same way that an individual can be described as ‘pathological’, or in the use of terms such as ‘psychopathology’ and ‘psychopath’.   According to my dictionary, the word ‘pathology’ is derived from […]

Coach or couch?

I remember attending a very interesting talk on executive coaching a while ago and the presenter – who was both a therapist and a coach, was quite open in admitting that a great deal of coaching is psychotherapy under a different name. Managers and executives will accept coaching whereas they wouldn’t dream of going near […]

Banking culture: fear is the key

As the maelstrom engulfing the banking industry shows no sign of abating, even though Bob Diamond has finally fallen on his sword,1 neither has the search for explanations.  As I highlighted in a previous post, attention is currently on the culture of the banking industry.    However, as I pointed out in that posting, ‘culture’ is […]

Corporate nightmares

What is the connection between the following: Corporate greed ‘Toxic’ corporate cultures Corporate mindsets The erasure of subjectivity The spread of corporate culture into all walks of (organisational and working) life? The first one, corporate greed, seems to be the topic that is guaranteed to raise peoples’ hackles, especially when it comes to the exorbitant […]

City madness?

As mentioned in previous posts, there is a (growing) view that the City and other major corporate institutions are being run by psychopaths.  I’ve already cited the work of Clive Boddy on this subject, but other commentators have also observed there is something quite pathological about large corporate environments.  At the same time, however, I […]

The Couch and the City

Recently I was interviewed by Joris Luyendijk as part of his research for his banking blog in The Guardian.1   Joris did an excellent job in writing up the interview which went ‘live’ last Thursday.2  The focus of the interview was about trying to get an understanding of the incredible amount of anger that his […]

Willing slaves?

I’m not a great fan of Melanie Phillips but she did make one good point on Question Time last week (26 Jan).  There was a question about the large salaries and bonuses being paid to corporate bosses, particularly in the light of the bonus that had just been paid to Stephen Hester, CEO of RBS […]

Stress and the City

This seems like a good time to consolidate some of my ideas regarding stress and/in the City.  Incidentally, Joris Luyendijk has been writing a fascinating Banking Blog in the Guardian since mid September 2011, which is a nine month anthropological ‘experiment’ looking at life in the financial City of London.  This is based around a […]

Suicide and success

Phillip Hodson has written an interesting article  in The Independent on the tragic and untimely death of Gary Speed.  He is attempting to address the apparent contradiction of people who, on the surface, appear to be successful, have it all, and yet, behind all this appear to have profoundly troubled private lives – so private […]

A culture of stress?

I’ve been reading a number of articles recently, in addition to the Times one I’ve referred to previously, on the subject of stress and mental health in the City.  Some of these date back to the last financial crisis in 2008 whilst others are very recent.  What struck me was an eerie sense of déjà […]