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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Stan Gold August 2012

President’s Letter
August 2012

Members of the Board,

Clare Huffington,( Past President),Kathy White, Carole Eigen, Angela Eden, Jerry Fromm,(President Elect), Ernest Fruge’, (Executive Director), Michael Faris, (Secretary/Treasurer).

First let me reiterate the boards thanks to Amy Fraher, Elisabeth Henderson and Kathy Jones for their tireless work to produce our Annual meeting in San Diego. Despite continuing worries over attendance and finances they managed to give us a program of papers and plenary sessions which stimulated us all. Our aim, to stimulate some ISPSO interest in California also seems to have succeeded.

Of particular pleasure were the papers presented by students and new members. The future looks bright. The Bridger award was won by David Patman for his paper , “Social Media and Social Analysis”. This was one of nine possible papers all presented by members of less than five years standing. A good indication for the future. Our thanks to Jim Krantz, Chair and the committee Susan Long and Tom Hoffman. Next year Larry Hirschorn will be Chair of this committee.

As we move on, you will have seen Judith Bell’s invitation to our next Annual meeting in Oxford, (Monday July 8th-­‐Sunday 14th). We are all invited to send abstracts and workshop proposals. You can access this on our website: ( or the Annual Meeting website: ( The board and Paper selection committee will meet in December to plan further.

I must also thank very warmly our E committee, Philip Boxer, David Patman and Andrew McCoy for their sterling work in both updating our list serve information and especially in devising new developments that will become evident in the near future. This will include a simplified and more efficient site for registration for our Annual meetings.

The board says goodbye to Larry Hirschorn and Renate Gronvold Bugge with sincere thanks for their years of work and participation in our activities. We welcome our newest board member, Angela Eden, who has already contributed so much via her chairing of the Library committee.

Currently the board has been working on two major developments.. You have been notified of the first, the inclusion of a student membership category which seems to have been well received. Allied to this we are concerned to establish an “Emeritus” category for longer standing members. The criteria for this are proving more complex but Ernest Fruge’, and Michael Faris, are giving this further thought.

Finally, we have been approached by another prestigious organisation with a proposition regarding co-­‐sponsorship. The board has had an excellent first

discussion regarding the complexities of such a move, bearing in mind previous decisions to avoid endorsing other groups or training programs. Kathy White and Jerry Fromm are to present some proposals to the board for further discussion in December.

On any or all of the above, I, and all board members would be happy to hear any views you may have, either via the list serve or directly.


We have a vibrant and growing Society. Sir Kenneth Clarke, author and TV presenter of the series “Civilisation” has said that Civilisation requires confidence-­‐ confidence in the society in which one lives, belief in it’s philosophy, belief in it’s laws and confidence in one’s own mental powers.

Just to remind us. Our three primary goals are:

  1. To aid in the establishment of a community of thinkers and practitioners who share an interest in examining organisations from a Psychoanalytic perspective.
  2. To facilitate communication and the development of ideas, especially the application of research and theory into practice in the field of Psychoanalytic study of organisations. across disciplinary, national and ideological boundaries.
  3. To provide a public forum for discussion and the presentation and the distribution of papers that explore the field of psychoanalytic organisational studies.

Samuel Dushkin, the violinist for whom Stravinsky wrote his violin concerto, wrote, “Whenever Stravinsky accepted one of my suggestion, even a simple change…. He would insist on altering the very foundations accordingly. He behaved like an architect who, if asked to change a room on the third floor, had to go down to the foundations to keep the proportions of his whole structure.”

In ISPSO our changing membership, together with the new developments and needs of regional activities bring with them a push for change, sometimes simple, sometimes more complex. If we move in new directions does this mean we have to alter our very foundations?

In an article this month, Australian journalist Don Watson bemoaned the deterioration in Australian Universities. In this he described the change from organisations in which teaching, research and rigorous intellectual endeavour has been replaced by the imperative that, whilst such aims are appropriate in a tutorial or laboratory, it cannot satisfy the needs and prejudices of the paymaster, be they Church, State, Business or fee paying students. But, he asks, what is a University without ideals? Too easy: one with a mission statement and it’s most brutal weapon: managerialism.

It was in fact a Labour,(left wing), member of Parliament that set about remodelling the Universities into instruments of the dynamic economic order. “Universities became massive revenue chasing enterprises, academics became administrators, students became customers and managers became royalty.” From now on academics had to display ‘ passion, energy and tenacity or be judged wanting in one or more of six behavioural clusters: namely “ Resilience, Connectedness, Commitment to Excellence, Innovation, Outcome focused and Open thinking”.

We have not come to that in ISPSO, despite a worrying decrease in members from Academia. The Board, as your representatives are taking great care that this should not be the case. It has however prompted me, as you know, to ask the question, “What is the Primary task of ISPSO?” Following Howie Schwartz’s definitions, if it is efficiency, the relative cost of doing what we do, then we get a plus. If it is effectiveness, that is, doing what we are intended to do, then we need to be constantly critical. And then there is what some regard as absolutely primary. What we have to do to survive.

We have made a start in clarifying these issues with the discussions on Member’s day in San Diego and the board is currently engaged on clarifying whether we should be linked to other like minded organisations. This is not a simple issue, no matter how obvious it may seem. Hopefully we will be able to report on this at next Member’s day in Oxford when we will continue investigating our Primary task. More of this later.

Thanks to all.

Stan. Gold. President ISPSO