This first chapter gives an introduction to the content of the book and gives an overview of its structure, which consists of four parts: (I) “The employee in the community”, (II) “Group processes”, (III) “Management”, and (IV) “The manager’s personality”.

In a psychodynamic perspective, the relationship between manager and employee is described as a human relationship playing out in a structural framework of an organisation. That it is a human relationship implies that the whole spectrum of human emotions is involved. It is knowledge about this and the ability to manoeuvre in the field between structure and human dynamics that determines whether the relationship between manager and employee is successful.

Also, the reciprocity of the relationship is stressed, meaning that both manager and employee influence and change each other during the process of managing and being managed. The authors claim that an understanding of this phenomenon at a deeper level can liberate much positive energy in organisations.