ERIC Number: ED337838
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
Control, Control, Complete Control!!! Neurotic Control Relationships and the Development of Dysfunctional Organizational Structures.
A case study illustrates the concept of the neurotic organization by describing the development of "Central Control College" over a period of 11 years. In this period of time, the college moved from a small, informal organization to a highly developed compulsive institution. The image of neurosis has been applied in the organizational arena, where it has been used to describe and analyze a wide variety of dysfunctional organizational structures, relationships, and processes. When "Susan Powers" became president in the early 1980s, morale was high and turnover of staff and faculty was low. Eleven years later, morale and trust were very low, and turnover was high. Interactions between administration and faculty were characterized by overt and covert hostility. The president's style was clearly compulsive in nature, preoccupied with the need for control, while the style of executive vice-president "Susan Steering" was more personal, intuitive, but at times impulsive and manipulative. Five years into Powers' presidency, a conflict over the volleyball team changed Steering's priority to protecting Powers from the faculty. Steering was later promoted and "Bruce Dominick" (who fit with the compulsive orientation of Powers and Steering) became academic dean. The culture of the college is characterized by extreme splits at all levels. While many people look for a change with the announcement of Powers' resignation, the overall sense is not optimistic. The concept of the neurotic organization has a number of strengths and liabilities, chiefly in its tendency to individualize problems of structural inequality and control. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dysfunctional Behavior; Organizational Culture
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (41st, Chicago, IL, May 23-27, 1991). Best copy available.