Psychoanalysis of Groups and Organisations

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
20 May 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

DIP C8N209 Management and Organisational Dynamics,
DIP C8N221 Management and Organisational Dynamics,
MA C8N212 Management and Organisational Dynamics,
MA C8N224 Management and Organisational Dynamics,
MA C8N2MO Management and Organisational Dynamics

Module description

This module provides an introduction to exploring how a psychoanalytic approach can illuminate the dynamics of groups and organisations.

The starting point, as with all psychoanalytic thought, is the unconscious- what it is, and how it influences the behaviour of groups. Following an examination of some of the classic contributions of Freud and Bion, the module progresses to develop a number of perspectives on how psychoanalytic ideas can inform an understanding of firstly, how the individual takes up a role in groups and organisations, and, secondly, how such roles are shaped by dynamic processes in groups and organisations.

This includes the role of the group or organisation as a holding environment to meet, or frustrate our dependency needs; the interplay of systems thinking and psychoanalysis; the way we use group and organisational structure to defend against anxiety; the way we internalise images of the group/organisation; how authority and power is located in the group or organisation; the impact of narcissism and oedipal dynamics on leadership and followership; and finally a consideration of the dynamics of change in groups/organisations.

Module aims

The module aims are: * To enable students to develop an understanding of group and organisational dynamics through the application of psychoanalytic concepts. * To enable students to analyse and develop hypotheses about group and organisational scenarios based on this understanding. * To enable students to apply an understanding of group and organisational dynamics to a variety of contexts.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to: * Demonstrate an understanding of psychoanalytic concepts relevant to the structure and functioning of groups and organizations * Engage critically with core themes of the module * Articulate hypotheses on group and organisational behaviour, based on clear analysis and psychodynamic understanding of the group/organisational milieu

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

All teaching is done in seminars, in which active participation is encouraged, usually in relation to texts. The seminar itself provides opportunities for psychoanalytic thinking, as the discussion build between members. Feedback on written work sharpens attention to the aims of the course. The Research Forum and supervision provides guidance on discerning research opportunities. Tutorials support intellectual and cognitive development. For students on the MA Management and Organisational Dynamics, learning is also consolidated through a psychodynamic observation of an organisation.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Formative essay 100%
Overall assessment
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Mr Chris Tanner, Mr Simon Tucker, Mr Andy Thomas
Student Administrator 5A.202; Tel: 01206 873745 Email:



External examiner

Prof Caroline Bainbridge
Roehampton University
Available via Moodle
Of 42 hours, 38 (90.5%) hours available to students:
4 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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