Some Aspects of Organizational Craziness

  • Seymour B. Sarason†
Part of the Caregiving: Research, Practice, Policy book series (CARE)


From the time I finished graduate school in 1942 I developed a strong interest in how organizations, any organization, worked and differentially affected those who worked in them in ways that facilitated or were barriers to the realization of their purposes. My first job was in a new state institution for mentally retarded individuals; it was there that I very quickly learned about what I came to call “organizational craziness,” a craziness that shaped lives and purposes of everyone in the organization for good or for bad. The history of human service institutions is a grim one and very unpleasant reading. That history confirms the adage that the more things change the more they remain the same. Initially my interest in organizations was a matter of self-defense: I was being influenced, shaped, and pressured to think and act in ways incompatible with my beliefs and values. For the rest of my career up until a few years ago I took advantage of every opportunity, and I had many, to observe and consult to human service institutions. I learned a lot and the most important thing I learned was that organizational theorists and practitioners in the private sector were learning the same thing.


Executive Director Dine Room Cocktail Party Institutional Authority Political Principle 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seymour B. Sarason†
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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