In this article, it is looked for similarities between psychoanalysis and humanistic view of the organization. Some of the similarities are mentioned below.

1. The psychoanalytic theorists accepted the presence of the conscious mind, but in order to understand personality they relied on unconscious mental activity. In a similar fashion, all those scholars who have raised questions against the rational theorists do not mean to say that organization could live without structure. Instead, they mean that the structure is not solely responsible for the prosperity of the organization. In fact, behind the scene activity is as important as other front stage activities because the former tremendously influence the latter.

2. The psychoanalysis model is complex, and, at first glance it seems that it cannot be applied to the organization. If we are inspired to applyfreud and organization Freud’s thoughts, we should not see them in the narrow sense. His concept of sex and aggression should not simply be interpreted as acts of love-making between members of the opposite sex or physical fights between two people. Indeed, if we can see sex as a symbolic word for likeness and aggression as a symbol of dislikeness, then we can interpret that there are two basic drives, likeness and dislikeness, behind the human behavior. We internalize those views which we like and we work against those aspects which we dislike. In other words, it can be argued that the organizational output depends upon how organizational rationality is internalized.

3. If we study carefully the organizational theorists they use the concept of INFORMAL ORGANIZATION in the same fashion as Freudian psychoanalysis has used the concept of ENERGY. Freud considers that human beings need other channels to express their blocked energies; so, Barnerd says that we require informal organization in the formal organization to improve efficiency. It is evident from daily experiences that participants repressed feelings in the organization due to practical reasons, e.g., loss of work, social pressure etc. They form informal grouping according to their interests and show their repressed feelings in such groups. In fact, informal groping in organization is analogous to a defence mechanism as suggested by Freud. As defence mechanisms are essential to avoid anxiety so the informal organization is essential to avoid disruption in the organization. Of course, one has to find the means to release one’s intellectual pressure or tension.

4. Freud gives us insight as to why we identify with one group and not with another. In organizations, we can observe that people relate to those who are equivalent to their social status or who are having similar ideology. This phenomenon is equivalent to Freud’s process of identification. It is observed in the experiments that those who do not follow the footsteps of their peer group are usually reproached.

5. Freud’s rationalization point seems close to March and Olson’s observation when they admit that actions precede the decisions in the state organization. Freud says that human beings interpret their own behaviour in such a way which seems to be acceptable and reasonable. Selznick also asserts that participants take discretionary action on the name of the organization as a whole.

6. How does organizational unconscious develop? In Freudian terms we can say that it is partly the result of repressive actions. It is easy to appreciate that structure does not allow all kinds of actions so these actions or thoughts demand another outlet. If we interpret Freud’s concept of Id, Ego & Super Ego in relation to organization then it will be more or less as following figure:


7. Jung’s concept of persona is applicable to organizational life which means that an organization’s apparent structure reveals a differenterickson and organization story than the reality. His concept of COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS has closeness with Schein’s thought of ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE. Similarly, we can relate his introvert & extrovert dimensions to the organizations; in the case of introversion, organization over-emphasizes on its structure as it is depicted by Adizes in early bureaucratic organizations; in the case of extroversion, organization’s basic orientation is more outward towards the outside world as its shown by Adizes in ‘go-go’ organization. Erik Erikson’s eight stages of human development can easily be related to the development of communication. He sees these stages of development of an individual’s personality, whereas this author is of the view that these stages are also applicable in the development of interaction. If we study human development it is very closely related to communication. How we develop ourselves very much depends on how our surroundings communicate with us.

8. The humanistic organizational theorists admit the point that an organization is surrounded by human beings who have different qualifications, perceptions, thoughts, etc., therefore, the organization cannot condition an absolute specific response of participants through its structure. Scott mentions on the behalf of natural theorists that individual enter in the organization with individually shaped ideas, expectations ,agendas, and bring different values, interests and abilities.

If psychoanalytic theorists say that our conscious behavior is affected by our unconscious, so, organizational theorists say that formal structure is affected by informal structure. There is always a disparity between a stated goal and the real goal, and stated goals are not the only goals governing human behavior. This statement is very close to Freud’s thinking when he says that human systems are composed of different energies which means that each human being has many and different short-term and long-term goals. So organizations are composed of such different human systems and its very logical to think that formal goals can be blended with informal goals and formal structure must be affected by informal structures.

In fact, when a group of people interact with each other they perceive events differently and act differently. This interaction with different perception creates an unconscious mind in the organization. Unconscious Mind of Organization has the following components:


Informal   grouping




Organizational   culture


Unconscious reinforcement

Nadeem Yousaf

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