Insight and Imagination: A Study in Knowing and Not-Knowing in Organizational Life

Insight and Imagination: A Study in Knowing and Not-Knowing in Organizational Life

By: Howard F. Stein (author)Paperback

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Insight and Imagination explores the primacy of the self in organizational research, consulting, and management / leadership. Contesting the radical dichotomy between 'objective' and 'subjective' understanding, and the devaluation of the latter, Professor Howard F. Stein argues that the imagination of the observer, informed by his or her unconscious, can lead to a greater understanding of the psychological reality of the workplace and in turn to better informed problem solving. Insight emerges from the disciplined use of the imagination rather than its repudiation. The book brings countertransference to center stage as a tool for understanding the emotional experience of organizational life and for formulating interventions. One often neglected use of the imagination is the capacity to not have to know beforehand what one needs to learn_what poet John Keats called 'negative capability.' Insight and Imagination proposes the use of the humanities as a means of expanding and deepening one's access to the inner life of organizations. The author draws from the art created by others and from his own poetry written and often used during an organizational consultation. Among the specific contexts discussed in this book are the experience of organizational downsizing; helping organizations to grieve after change and loss; recognizing 'red herrings' in organizational decision making; the language of organizational change; recognizing hidden agendas in meetings; and reflective practice in organizational life.

About Author

Howard F. Stein, Ph.D., a psychoanalytic anthropologist, organizational consultant, and poet, is Professor of Family Medicine in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where he has taught for thirty years. He is a long-time member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations and the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology. Professor Stein is author of twenty-five books, the most recent of which is Beneath the Crust of Culture (2005). In late 2006, he was nominated for Oklahoma Poet Laureate.


Part 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 Countertransference and Organizational Knowing: Understanding from the Inside as Well as the Outside Chapter 4 "The Centre and Circumference of Knowledge:" The Use of Poetry as a Tool of Countertransference in Organizational Knowing and Consulting Chapter 5 Uncovering an Organizational Conference's Hidden Agendas Chapter 6 Red Herrings in the Workplace: On Not Solving the Wrong Problem Chapter 7 Learning How to Help: An Applied Anthropologist's Role in Massive Organizational Change Chapter 8 The Role of our Words in the Masking and Unmasking of Organizational Experience Chapter 9 Trusting the Journey: The Narrative History of an Organizational Consultation Chapter 10 Letting Go of Who We Were: The Triad of Change-Loss-Grief in Organizational and Wider Cultural Life Chapter 11 The Dangers of Not Reflecting on What We Are Doing in Workplaces Chapter 12 The Inner World of Workplaces: Learning about Real World Workplaces through Art Chapter 13 Ways of Knowing in Medicine and Other Worlds of Work: Objectivized Seeing and Beyond Chapter 14 The Consultant's Story as Conduit to the Client and Organization's Story: Fiction as Guide to Organizational Reality Chapter 15 Summary, Conclusions: A Documentary Play

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780761837442
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 229
  • ID: 9780761837442
  • weight: 331
  • ISBN10: 0761837442

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