Dysfunctional organisations : a role for the corporate psychotherapist

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Whelan, Peter
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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That dysfunction is a feature of organisations and where it exists there is a serious impact on performance is a clear, provable, and common occurrence. In a co-existing relationship such as the employment one, dysfunctional organisations have an adverse effect on employees just as employees can cause an organisation to be dysfunctional. There are a range of minor difficulties and major complex problems that cohabitate in dysfunctional organisations. These problems have a psychological content and core, which are displayed through unconscious communication. Organisations are apparently aware of this but many do not take measures to challenge same. The more awareness there is of the difficulties that constitute dysfunction and the greater the ability to resolve them, the better the organisation will perform. If dysfunction is to be challenged, the use of soft skills are important as organisations are about managing people - the real nucleus of organisations. The resolution of problems in a dysfunctional organisation requires a set of skills which can dissect and analyse the order and activity within it. Thus an appropriate response to the psychological content is necessary. Corporate psychotherapists have the skills required to undertake an assessment of such dysfunctional organisations and to implement appropriate interventions and support strategies. Likewise corporate coaches bring many advantages to both the organisation in terms of increased performance and to the employee in terms of career advancement and job satisfaction. The introduction and use of corporate coaches and psychotherapists must be conducted in a diplomatic way and on a voluntary basis. If this is done successfully most organisations will benefit as most individuals will accept and encompass change. The objectives of this research are to explore this theory and its practical application in the work place, through an examination of the literature available internationally on corporate psychology. Through semi structured interviews it assesses the place for such an approach in various sized organisations and presents the results as being overwhelmingly positive, with the conclusion that the majority of organisations can benefit from a therapeutic approach to dysfunction and change.