Organizations and Archetypes
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Organizations and Archetypes

Monika Kostera

Archetypes are common patterns containing hidden images of human motivations, offering inspiration and awakening imagination. This book is a collection of such tales, connected to twelve organizational archetypes, where each is illustrated by more general theoretical reflections, current management and organization theory literature, as well as practical examples. Monika Kostera proposes an imagery and language for self-management and self-organization for non-corporate use including entrepreneurs and multipurpose NGOs.
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Chapter 4: In search of the organization’s Self

Monika Kostera


The Self is one of the main Jungian archetypes (Jung, [1921] 1971, [1959] 1990), and the development of the Self, the realization of individuality and unity in the process of individuation, is the purpose of human efforts and actions throughout the whole of one’s life. The process may be sometimes associated with self-actualization (Maslow, [1962] 1968), the reaching of the fullness of one’s being. The Self coordinates energy and combines the energy coming from the conscious spheres with the energy of the unconscious. According to Carl Gustav Jung ([1921] 1971), the Self is a whole uniting consciousness with the unconscious, whereas the Ego is the centre for the content residing in consciousness. The Ego is, for an unintegrated personality, the centre of free will and decision-making. For a full personality the broad Self might become such a centre instead. Both the consciousness and the energies coming from the unconscious (such as those known as intuition) may become an expanded field of free will and conscience. The Ego is a smaller entity, comprised in the bigger circle of the Self: The Self can be known only partly, but it is fully experienced, though not necessarily ‘here and now’; it also contains past and future experiences. Its dark part is the Shadow that will be discussed in the next chapter. The protagonist of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet ([1600–1602] 2007) can serve as an illustration for the archetype of the Self. Prince Hamlet is the son of a murdered Danish king.

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