Dr. Harte Bratt’s Psychoanalysis of the Plaintiffs
Historically, when we look at organizations, we study leaders and leadership styles. There is not much attention to the role of the “follower”, the followers’ impact on the leader and how that contributes to group dynamics. We take a top down look as though the leader exists without followers and the followers have little power. The contribution of the follower in shaping any group is a perspective that deserves much more exploration.
Employees generally experience what is referred to as a transference reaction to the authority structure within any group or organization. They unconsciously interpret motives and relationships in ways that occurred in their family of origin and can react based on those old systems. This can become even more powerful when the product of a business has to do with health and well-being and the authority is a charismatic leader. Staff can grow to view the business as a mission to which they owe allegiance. Disappointment and disillusionment can occur when faced with the reality that a business exists to make profit not to do good in the world, even if positive, social benefit is a byproduct of the business.
Microsoft and financial firms all place productivity expectations in terms of numbers on employees. This is accepted as the norm. When the business involves health and well being, and the natural antagonisms that can occur in any group arise, such as disagreement with management policies or changes, residual transference responses can be triggered. People feel slighted, mistreated, ignored, or dismissed. They can become vengeful or withdraw depending on personality style.