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 9: The King

Monika Kostera


The King is one of the classical personality archetypes (as opposed to the archetypes of transformation; Jung, [1951] 1977, [1959] 1990) that have accompanied humankind since time immemorial. The King symbolizes authority, power and the ability of the spirit to guide others towards lofty goals. A good King is anointed by higher powers, he or she exudes energy that the followers can recognize and which does not come from this world. Kings seek to establish order and laws using their uniqueness and the authority that issues from it. The King knows how to distinguish good from evil and uses his or her authority to introduce a new, better order. The King knows how to transmit to others the blessings that come from higher forces. The power of the blessings gives people energy to act and to bring them good luck. The King is an example and a personification of righteousness, dignity, generosity, and purposefulness. He or she is also human and human weaknesses may interfere with the right accomplishment of their mission or even undermine it completely, and lead them onto the paths of tyranny and violence. Ruling without empathy, an excess of ambition or a lack of maturity in other spheres can be very dangerous for a person embracing power. An ordinary person can learn by their own mistakes. The King is devoid of this possibility, as his or her mistakes always have consequences for others.

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