Organizational Membership: Personal Development in the Workplace

Organizational Membership: Personal Development in the Workplace

by Howell S. Baum




This book tells why people want to feel like members of work organizations, and why doing so is difficult. Using case examples, it presents a psychoanalytic perspective on organizational entry and the process of entry negotiations for workers which sometimes lasts years. Interview material shows how workers try to use organizations to develop and how entire careers reflect satisfaction or disappointment with initial organizational experiences.

Baum presents a useful framework for interpreting organizational behavior in terms of workers’ efforts to develop. He shows how developmental expectations must be met before workers can identify with organizational goals or feel close to colleagues, and how worker motivation is possible only in organizations that meet individuals’ growth needs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791403860
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 08/01/1990
Series: SUNY series in the Sociology of Work and Organizations Series
Pages: 290

About the Author

Howell S. Baum is Professor at the University of Maryland’s Institute for Urban Studies.

Table of Contents


Part One: Experiencing Organizational Work

1.Organizational Experience: What People Expect of Work Organizations
2. The Developmental Meanings of Work

Part Two: Initiation into Organizational Roles

3. Organizational Demands of the New Worker: Sociological and Anthropological Accounts
4. The New Worker Responds: A Psychoanalytic View

Part Three: Trying to Grow at Work

5. Becoming a Member: Looking for Work Ability, Work Identity, and Organizational Affiliation
6. Growing In and Out of the Organization: Mentoring and Making Sense

Part Four: Disappointment and Its Consequences

7. Working Without Belonging: Fixation on Recognition, Autonomy, and Power
8. Disappointments Remediable and Irremediable: Playing Toward Membership or Withdrawal

Part Five: Organizational Membership: Problems and Possibilities

9. How Organizational Politics Hinders Organizational Affiliations
10. Worker Development and Organizational Development

Appendix: The Research




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