• Tobias Holst Ladefoged
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
This master’s thesis is a theoretical project that examines the concept of projective identification and group dynamics together with their interaction in a working group from a psychodynamically informed point of view. The project also examines what a consultant should be aware of in relation to these concepts. The project is based in the author’s personal experience of the psychological organi-zation theories sometimes seeming to be superficial in order to clarify what is go-ing on between people in working groups. Focusing on the concept of projective identification, the author hopes to find more in-depth explanation on this subject. The research question reads as follows: How can you consider the concept of projective identification as both being a destructive and a productive force among individuals in a working group and what impact do projective identification have on the dynamics of the working group? What should the consultant be aware of in relation to projective identification and the dynamics of the working group and what options does this awareness offer to the consultant? As already said, the re-search question is examined in a psychodynamic perspective, and supplemented by important notes from psychoanalysis. The main theoretical aspect of the pro-ject is based in the works of, the recognized danish psychologist and professor of group- and organizational psychology, Steen Visholm. More specifically his works of 1993 (Overflade og dybde; om projektiv identifikation og det modernes psykologi) and 1995 (Projektiv identifikation; teorihistorier og perspektiver). This perspective is supplemented by W. F. Bion’s works on group dynamics and J. S Scharff’s psychoanalytically perspective on projective identification. To deliver concrete examples of the relatively abstract theoretical statements two real life cases are included. These cases are analyzed continuously throughout the project. In the end it can be concluded that the destructive and constructive aspects of projective identification depends on the specific situation. Projective identification influences the distribution of roles in the group and thus its dynam-ics. The dynamics of the working group also affect the nature of projective iden-tification in the group. The psychoanalytically informed organizational consult-ant's attention to projective identification and dynamics of the working group can give the consultant the opportunity to obtain important information about the working group. This information can provide the consultant with alternative courses of action. The author also considers that it would be fruitful to study what alternative courses of action the psychoanalytically informed organizational consultant is having during practice.
Publication date2015
Number of pages46
ID: 213139966