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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Moral Violence in Organizations: Hierarchical Dominance and the Absence of Potential Space

The authors introduce the concept of moral violence in organizations, by which they refer to emotionally and psychologically abusive and harmful workplace cultures. These narcissistic, organizational cultures, are, hierarchically, governed by arbitrary use of power and authority, sadistic-masochistic, relational patterns of dominance and submission, and an absence of potential space for dialogue and play. Providing several vignettes, the authors illustrate the prevalence of moral violence in managerial practices that result in dehumanizing and demoralizing the workforce. In so doing, the authors take an object relational and self-psychological, psychoanalytic perspective in understanding and working with morally violent organizations.'