On the lateral axis: A Systems-Psychodynamic study of the lateral relations of collaboration amongst senior leaders in corporate organizations

Oratis, Petros (2022) On the lateral axis: A Systems-Psychodynamic study of the lateral relations of collaboration amongst senior leaders in corporate organizations. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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This thesis studies the dynamics of lateral collaboration in corporate organizations by focusing on how senior leaders experience lateral relations in such contexts. Increased business complexity and the nature of organizational challenges require enterprise collaboration across boundaries, where leaders cannot exercise their formal hierarchical authority. This research is an in-depth mapping of lateral relations and the dynamics they induce. It studies the inner experience of role-holders. It allows those leading and studying organizations to consider enabling conditions for enterprise collaboration at a senior leadership level. The study comprises four independent cases of senior leaders, using the biographical narrative interpretive method (BNIM). Each in-case analysis surfaces subjective inner relational and authority models that influence the subjective experience and choices of a role-holder within lateral relations. Discerning patterns in dynamics and experiences across cases allowed the development of an ontological picture of lateral relations in leadership that could be studied independently. The findings showed three distinct phenomena of relational dynamics: mental ranking (MR), relational dimension confusion (RDC) and relational morphing (RM). Studying their causation produced a definition of the attributes of lateral relations and the evolved nature of formal authority in contemporary organizations. These findings can aid leaders and organizational practitioners to navigate challenging dynamics and contextualize their experience, whilst becoming more task effective in collaboration. Finally, the thesis places these findings within the historical evolution of systems psychodynamic thinking of the lateral and the vertical axis. It highlights the need to continuously re-examine ontological definitions when studying highly subjective relational phenomena within contemporary organizational paradigms in which authority and hierarchy keep evolving.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Essex in collaboration with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for the Professional Doctorate in Consultation and the Organisation
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Consultation and the Organisation, D10D, Systems, Psychodynamic, Authority, Hierarchy, Leadership, Authorization, Autonomy, Dependency, Interdependency, Power Dynamics, Competition, Envy, rivalry, Organizational Politics, Collaboration, Enterprise Leadership
Subjects: Groups & Organisations > Groups/Institutions/Organisations
Groups & Organisations > Occupational Groups
Groups & Organisations > Organisational Development
Management & Economics > Leadership - Social Behaviour
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Consultation
Department/People: Adult and Forensic Services
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2749

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