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Psychodynamic perspectives on organizational change and their relevance to Transformational Practice Development

Authors

  • Kenneth D Walsh RN PhD Fellow of the Joanna Briggs Institute,

    Corresponding author
    1. Professor of Nursing Practice Development, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia; Director, Nursing Development and Research Unit, South East Sydney and Illawarra Area Health Service, Southern Hospitals Network, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; and Visiting Professor, Department of Nursing and Applied Clinical Studies, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK
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  • Jackie Crisp RN PhD,

    1. Professor of Child and Adolescent Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Technology, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Head, Practice Development Unit, Sydney Children's Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; and Conjoint Professor, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Cheryle Moss RN PhD FRCNA

    1. Associate Professor of Nursing, Research and Practice Development, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; and Adjunct Professor, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
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Kenneth Walsh, Nursing Development and Research Unit, Level 8 Block C, Wollongong Hospital, Crown St, Wollongong, New South Walse 2500, Australia Email: kenw@uow.edu.au

Abstract

Walsh KD, Crisp J, Moss C. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2011; 17: 205–212

Psychodynamic perspectives on organizational change and their relevance to Transformational Practice Development

In this paper we draw on the organizational psychodynamic literature, from Menzies 1960 seminal work to contemporary writers such as Manfred Kets de Vries and Adrian Carr as well as our own experience to highlight three critical paradoxes in the psychodynamics of health services. The paper highlights that behaviour and ways of interacting are influenced by intrapersonal mechanisms; and these mechanisms are critically important in the evolution of workplace cultures, and markedly influence organizational functioning. These mechanisms (and the paradoxes they pose) need to be considered in any initiative, such as Practice Development, that seeks to engage staff in workplace reform. By better understanding the psychodynamics of the workplace, we will in turn be better able to understand the mechanisms underlying the success of Practice Development processes, use these more deliberately and develop new and better processes in order to further improve the efficacy of Transformational Practice Development as an approach to practice change.

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