Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Dynamics; Group Dynamics and Resistance; Management Science and Psychodynamic-Systemic Analysis; Group Coaching ;
Manfred Kets de Vries has brought a unique form of humanistic and scientific thinking to the forces of organizational change. Early in his career, Prof. Kets de Vries argued that in order to survive and change, people in organizations must uncover and deal with human dynamics such as the anxiety or resistance of individuals, combined with such organizational forces as cultural code, embedded response patterns, and unhealthy adaptations to external pressures. In the early 1970s, this was an unorthodox point of view.Fast forward to a new century, and we see that thanks in part to Kets de Vries’ contribution, we have experienced a paradigm shift. Bringing human beings, with all their inherent messiness, into the organizational change equation is no longer heretical. If such thinking has become more acceptable today, it is because pioneering academics were able to challenge the limits of the rational, management science approach to organizational change.This chapter addresses the early experiences and later influences that shaped the career of Manfred Kets de Vries, by putting him, metaphorically, on the psychoanalyst’s couch.