Positive psychology and its transformation into a social movement serves as a paradigm to explain how its practices may be used as defence mechanisms. Its growing presence in managerial education programmes and its dissemination in the media alter the conception of organisational functioning and that of the roles of management and leadership.
The encouragement of self-sufficiency and of social and individual narcissism calls into question the collective dimension and engagement with the task and the group, encouraging an ideal of autonomous work. The growing distrust of institutional leadership and the aversion to work within the framework of organisations seen as both unreliable and as limiting individual expression means that such organisations are being dismissed as potential spaces for creativity and learning while at the same time the desire of individuals to find an independent space of their own that is not subject to group limitations is being strengthened. This gives rise to what the authors define as an intra- and inter-subjective dynamic of Positivist Self-Sufficiency.
The paper argues that this dynamic may seriously endanger the socio-political interdependence that is necessary in organisations, complicating work processes and their coordination in techno-structural terms, as well as in the organisational resilience and its future sustainability. It also includes an analysis of the psychic assumptions and myths that may underlie economic, managerial and political approaches, especially in environments of countries in crisis such as Spain and its identity tensions with Catalonia.
paper presented at ISPSO 2013
by Joan Roma i Vergés and David Sierra Lozano (www.innovaccio.net)