The popularity of soft-skill management has createdpsychomanagers: managers who have entered into aFaustian bargain with psychologists. Some managers workwith psychologists to master themselves; others work withpsychologists to master other people. As psychomanagementrequires specialised knowledge, many Australian managers haveyielded their authority to counsellors, coaches and consultants,many of whom believe that human behaviour is determined byinternal and external forces over which individuals have little orno control. Accordingly, psychologists have laboured to absorbthe idea of the free and responsible individual into a pseudoscientificframework that denies moral agency. The result is thatideas of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ have been replaced with ‘healthy’ and‘sick’. In their pursuit of a ‘therapeutic state’, psychologists havemedicalised morality and managers have embraced powerfulmyths about minds, motive-forces, personality traits, socialconditioning, leadership, occupational stress and mental illness.Consequently, the twin ideas of personal freedom and responsibilityhave been sabotaged.
This book is about Australian managers and their long-standinglove affair with psychologists. For fifty years the author hasstudied, taught and consulted with managers and waltzed withseveral famous psychologists.