Organisational Pathologies Under Conditions of Economic Downswing


The topic of organisational pathology is surprisingly absent in literature on management, especially when bearing in mind the theoretical and practical import of such questions. The intention of the author is to fill in this gap, at least partially. The paper is based on an analysis of literature and an empirical research conducted by the author. The research applied partially structured interviews as its method. These interviews were conducted with entrepreneurs and managers of various levels. They made possible the drawing of conclusions relating to conditions behind the genesis and growth of selected organisational pathologies in a situation of economic downswing. The article briefly presents the concept and influence of pathology on the functioning of an organisation. The author concentrates on the causes of the phenomenon and presents them from various perspectives. It is during times of economic downswing that an increase in unethical behaviour, including corruption, mobbing as well as others, becomes particularly visible. Also noticeable is concentrating on limiting costs, which can sometimes reach pathological scale. This can lead to a permanent loss of pro-development potential by the organisation. Moreover, numerous pathological phenomena emerge at the tangent point of the organisation and its surroundings. The source of many undesirable phenomena in the organisation and in its relations with its surroundings is a fall in trust, which makes its appearance in crisis situations. More often than not, managers facing a situation in which they have no choice perpetuate organisational pathologies, whilst, at the same time, being aware of the lack of validity of their actions. However, a more frequent source of problems is the differences in perspective in perceiving organisational phenomena by various actors and stakeholders.

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