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A historical analysis of "our leader": a university ten-year study on emotion in executive succession—Part I

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The aim of this article was to explore how the collapse of a leadership structure was followed by distrust, a radical governance change, emotional turmoil, and, over the following ten years, several successful successions. An initial role and system analysis was the basis for applying a neuropsychoanalytic theory suggesting PANIC, CARE, and RAGE1 (Panksepp et al., 2012) are the main underlying feelings that contributes to disruption in succession processes. A model for the primary task of governance enabled a system analysis, as an alternative to assuming individual idiosyncratic and/or oedipal emotional states, and offered an updated and more coherent system–psychoanalytic perspective. A longitudinal action research project included participative bottom-up processes, facilitative processes, coaching, observations of board meetings, interviews, and archive data.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2020

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  • Organisational and Social Dynamics is a forum for the publication of theoretical and applied papers that are relevant and accessible to an international readership; and, one where writers from psychoanalytic, group relations, and systems perspectives can address emerging issues in organisations and societies throughout the world.

    It aims to sustain a creative tension between scientific rigour and popular appeal, both developing conversations with the professional and social scientific world and opening up these conversations to practitioners and reflective citizens everywhere. We wish to attract manuscripts from contributors who are aware of their own values, suppositions and assumptions, the influence of counter-transference in their work, whatever form it takes, and the ability to connect the internal world of individuals and groups with societal and global processes.
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