In this paper the author, who is a member of the Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom (Rcn) Council, discusses the functional and dysfunctional aspects of organizational behaviour and applies this discussion to the organizational problems of the Ren, the main professional organization of nurses in the United Kingdom. In particular, three concepts are considered in some detail: the concepts of oligarchy, elitism and plurality of goals. It is argued that problems which are ignored do not disappear and that dysfunctions which are by definition latent must be made manifest before they can be remedied. The existence of opposition, it is further argued, is essential to keep democracy alive, to buffer oligarchy and to promote change essential for the organization's survival.