Book Launch: ‘An Introduction to Systems Psychodynamics’

Book Launch: ‘An Introduction to Systems Psychodynamics’

David Lawlor and Mannie Sher speak on systems psychodynamics theory and its application to organisational consultancy as part of this book launch of An Introduction to Systems Psychodynamics

Systems psychodynamics is an emerging field of social science, the boundaries of which are continually being refined and re-defined. The ‘systems’ designation refers to open systems concepts that provide the framing perspective for understanding the structural aspects of organisational systems. These include its design, division of labour, levels of authority, and reporting relationships; the nature of work tasks, processes and activities; its mission and primary task; and the nature and patterning of the organisation’s task and sentient boundaries and the transactions across them.

The book presents a critical appraisal of the systems psychodynamics paradigm and its application to present-day social and organisational difficulties, showing how a holistic approach to organisational and social problems can offer a fresh perspective on difficult issues. Bringing together the theory and practice of systems psychodynamics for the first time, this book provides an examination of the systems psychodynamics paradigm in action.

An Introduction to Systems Psychodynamics gives an accessible and thorough guide to understanding and using systems psychodynamics ideas for analysts, managers, policy makers, consultants and researchers in a wide range of professional and clinical settings.

During the event, David and Mannie gave a brief talk which was then followed by small group discussions on the application of systems psychodynamics. The Lunchtime Talk ended with an interactive exchange of ideas, reflections and comments on people’s experiences of systems psychodynamics in their work roles.


David Lawlor, PhD, MSc, DipAppl Beh, Sc, CQSW

David Lawlor is a Professional Partner at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. At the TIHR he specialises in research and consultancy. He was formerly a Consultant Social Worker at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust where he was the Head of the Social Work Discipline and member of the Senior Management Team. He was a Principal Consultant at Tavistock Consultancy. David trained in organisational consultancy and psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic. He works as an organisational consultant and coach. He helps organisations learn and develop through training and consultancy interventions. He works with the technical and emotional challenges involved in implementing change. David has a PhD in the evaluation of Tavistock consultancy and an MSc in Human Resource Development from London South Bank University Business School.

Mannie Sher, PhD, FBAP, TQAP, AAPSW, BA (Hons.)

Mannie Sher is a Principal Consultant/Researcher in organisational development and change at the Tavistock Institute in which role he manages consultancy assignments with top teams on their leadership roles in effecting strategic change.   Mannie co-leads several professional development groups, seminars and workshops.  He offers executive coaching for leaders and has worked with people from industry, commercial business, family businesses, government, international agencies, universities, the armed forces, the health, social and education services, faith organisations and the arts.  Mannie’s approach to organisational consultancy and group relations work focuses on producing change through a participative process of examining organisational aims, creating inter-dependent systems of work and introducing efficient operational strategies.   He completed his PhD on the theory and practice of Tavistock approaches to working with organisations and society.

Recording of the talk

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