The Life and Behavior of Living Organisms: A General Theory

The Life and Behavior of Living Organisms: A General Theory

The Life and Behavior of Living Organisms: A General Theory

The Life and Behavior of Living Organisms: A General Theory

Synopsis

Jaques provides a general theory that gives a dynamic scientific foundation for the understanding of all living behavior. Based on more than 50 years of consultancy research throughout the world with individuals and all types of social institutions, Jaques focuses on the intentionality, judgment, and decisions that characterize behavior.

Excerpt

How does one acknowledge the contributions of colleagues, project collaborators, and teachers over a period extending for over 60 years during which the ideas in this book were developed? First were the ultimately valuable undergraduate studies in the natural sciences and biology at the University of Toronto. Next was the learning about diagnosis and the meaning of a sciencebased art in its highest form in the practice of medicine experienced at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Then mere was the excitement of working [exploration in personality] with H. A. Murray and the research staff at the Psychological Clinic at Harvard University, combined with its link to sociology via Talcott Parsons and to anthropology via Clyde Kluckhohn. Those were heady days.

The intervention of World War II took me to England with the Canadian Army, and presented the opportunity to work with the group of social scientists and psychiatrists in the British Army with whom I participated after the war in founding the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. At the Institute I was able to begin my career in social consultancy research work, some of the main projects of which I have described. At the same time, by remaining in England after the war I was able to train as a psychoanalyst at the British Psychoanalytical Society, with the great good fortune to be analyzed by, and later to work with, Melanie Klein, certainly the most creative analyst after Freud. My training in child analysis from her has been invaluable to me. It was also through the Tavistock Institute that I was able to get inside the true import of the work of Kurt Lewin, through a collaboration between the Institute and Lewin and his Research Center for Group Dynamics at the University of Michigan. His brilliance remains vividly with me.

This brief background takes me through into the 1950s, when the first of my major findings began to emerge. I left the Tavistock Institute in 1952 because these findings were so out of line with the group dynamics approach of the . . .

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