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Five Types Of Organizational Dysfunction
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A.
- Paranoid Style;
- Compulsive Style;
- Dramatic Style;
- Depressive Style; and
- Schizoid Style.
- a congregations friendliness or coldness;
- whether a congregation will act on an aggressive vision for growth or remain in a perpetually unshaken status quo;
- whether a congregation will be on the cutting edge of innovation or living in a constant state of dependency and helplessness;
- the manner in which professional staff are respected and supported or disrespected and scape-goated; and
- many other issues which may reflect the relative health and dysfunction of a congregation which may or may not be in the pastor's or leaders' control.
- a general atmosphere of distrust and paranoia ("somebody's out to get me" feeling), especially among leaders;
- hypersensitivity to relationships, organizational issues, hidden meanings and motivations;
- hyper-alertness for problems;
- a constant, hyper-vigilant lookout for the "enemy";
- looking for ways to confirm one's subjective suspicions of others.
- Pre-occupied with trivialities;
- Highly rigid and well-defined set of rules;
- Insistence that people submit to "their way";
- Defining relationships in terms of control/submission;
- Almost total lack of spontaneity;
- A constant sense of control anxiety which underlies all its activities (e.g. Will we do it right? Will they do it right? Can we let them do it? How will it threaten us, etc.);
- An obstinate sense of dogmatism in which everything is seen in stark shades of black and white;
- Highly focused belief that in all conflict one is either right or wrong.
- need to have positive attention from outsiders;
- impress others with "WOW" types of experiences;
- display superficiality (the "happy" mask);
- act merely on the basis of "hunches" or gut feelings;
- tendency to (over-) react to minor events;
- have a great sense of being able to do what is necessary in a "miraculous" manner;
- have a sense of being in control of their destiny vs. Being at mercy of events;
- Seldom have past events which dominate its thinking (e.g. past splits, lingering guilt, unresolved grief, skeletons in closet, etc).
- a profoundly low sense of pride;
- very a great deal of guilt (skeletons in the closet from splits, etc. from the past which dominate its thinking);
- a strong sense of indecision and unwillingness to take risks;
- focus on dying or out-moded areas ("markets") of ministry;
- little sense of competition;
- apathetic and inactive leadership.
- a marked cold, unemotional detachment and isolation;
- non-involvement with others in and outside the organization;
- a permeating belief that interactions with others will eventually fail and hurt the organization;
- a feeling that its safer to remain distant and isolated than close and collaborating;
- afraid of risks even small ones;
- lack of excitement and enthusiasm;
- climate of suspicion and distrust;
- indifferent to praise or criticism;
- aggressive behaviors, especially when feeling threatened;
- Frustrates the dependency needs of others;
- inconsistent or vacillating strategies.
- Are the people in this organization able to catch a vision?
- How large (and what kinds) of visions are most suitable for this organization?
- What kinds of ministry programs best suit their "neuroses"?
- What sermon series topics would be minister to this congregation?
- What kind of changes can happen, might happen, or will never happen in this congregation?
- What leadership styles are most effective (e.g. when it is appropriate to be patient? When to push?)
- And a plethora of other issues!!!
Unfortunately, Kets de Vries and Miller do not provide a definitive organizational analysis instrument. However, an Organizational Analysis Inventory Instrument has been developed--and is still in testing--and is located in the Ministry Health Reprints and Resources. Complete directions for this tool are given at the Web Site for those interested in participating in this instrument still developmental stage.
Another simpler resource is the Checklist For Congregational Functioning Style. For further insight, comments, or suggestions on implementation, feel free to e-mail the author and/or consult the book, The Neurotic Organization.
Thomas F. Fischer
Adapted by T. Fischer, based on Kets de Vries, M. and Miller, D. The Neurotic Organization. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1984, pp. 23-24.
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This page was revised on: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 11:02:46 PM