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Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries: Playing the Morosoph

  • Elizabeth Florent-Treacy
  • Konstantin Korotov
  • Caroline Rook
Living reference work entry

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics Group dynamics and resistance Management science and psychodynamic-systemic analysis Group coaching 

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Further Reading

  1. Kets de Vries, M. F. R. (1980/1994). Organizational paradoxes: Clinical approaches to management. London/New York: Tavistock/Methuen.Google Scholar
  2. Kets de Vries, M. F. R. (1991). Organizations on the couch. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  3. Kets de Vries, M. F. R. (1995). Life and death in the executive fast lane: Essays on irrational organizations and their leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  4. Kets de Vries, M. F. R. (2001a). Struggling with the demon: Perspectives on individual and organizational irrationality. Connecticut: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  5. Kets de Vries, M. F. R. (2001b). The leadership mystique. London: Financial Times/Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  6. Kets de Vries, M. F. R. (2005). Lessons on leadership by terror: Finding a Shaka Zulu in the Attic. London: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  7. Kets de Vries, M. F. R. (2006). The leader on the couch. West Sussex: Wiley.Google Scholar
  8. Kets de Vries, M. F. R. (2009a). Reflections on leadership and career development. West Sussex: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Kets de Vries, M. F. R. (2009b). Reflections on character and leadership. West Sussex: Wiley.Google Scholar
  10. Kets de Vries, M. F. R. (2009c). Sex, money, happiness and death: The quest for authenticity. Hampshire: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kets de Vries, M. F. R. (2011a). The Hedgehog effect: The secrets of building high performance teams. West Sussex: Wiley.Google Scholar
  12. Kets de Vries, M. F. R. (2011b). Reflections on groups and organisations. West Sussex: Wiley.Google Scholar
  13. Kets de Vries, M. (2014). Mindful leadership coaching: Journeys into the interior. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kets de Vries, M. (2015a). You will meet a tall dark stranger: Executive coaching challenges (The Palgrave Kets de Vries Library). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
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  24. Kets de Vries, M. F. R., Bernhardt, A., Korotov, K., & Florent-Treacy, E. (Eds.). (2011). Tricky coaching; Difficult cases in leadership coaching. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Florent-Treacy
    • 1
  • Konstantin Korotov
    • 2
  • Caroline Rook
    • 3
  1. 1.INSEADParisFrance
  2. 2.Center for Leadership Development ResearchESMT-BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Henley Business SchoolUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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