ABSTRACT

Since organisations consist of individual people, and since the manager’s task is to create the best preconditions for the individual’s productivity and collaboration with others, it is important for the manager to have knowledge about psychological processes within and between people.

The chapter describes what drives the individual at a subconscious level and what, respectively, promotes and inhibits the individual’s self-development. With inspiration from existential psychology, it is demonstrated how human beings can said to be motivated by trying to balance two dilemmas: individuality versus community and stability versus change. These dilemmas mean that human motivation often will be ambivalent.

The dual, ambiguous relationship means that people are both attracted to and threatened by groups and likewise are both attracted to and threatened by change. This ambivalence plays an important role for the internal and external cooperation that organisations are wholly dependent on.