James Krantz

James Krantz is an organizational researcher and consultant practicing in New York City. His work is grounded in the socio-technical perspective. Among the central principals that inform his practice and applied research are that: organizations are shaped jointly by social and technical forces; they exist in increasingly dynamic and unstable environments; clarity of purpose is required to produce high performing systems; authority in contemporary organizations is continuously negotiated, and that adapting to emerging conditions requires people in organizations to be able to learn from experience.

Jim grew up in Nebraska, leaving the Midwest to study at Wesleyan University where he majored in Philosophy and Economics. There he was first introduced to systems theory, which became a lifelong interest and basic foundation of his thinking. Interrupting his University studies in 1971, Jim worked with the New York Police Department in its effort to address police corruption from a systemic standpoint. His first exposure to the "group relations approach" was in 1975 upon joining the staff of a psychiatric hospital whose management relied upon the systems psychodynamic approach. As a result he started attending conferences and has since then participated in many throughout the world, taking his first directorship in 1989.

In 1979 Jim joined the staff of the Wharton Center for Applied Research and also enrolled in the Wharton's Systems Sciences Ph.D. program, where he worked closely with Eric Trist and other action researchers trying to explore the interpenetration of different levels of social, psychological and organizational reality. In 1982 - 83 he was at the Tavistock Institute where he had further opportunities to deepen his understanding of systems psychodynamics through his work with Eric Miller, Isabel Menzies Lyth and other staff of the Institute and Clinic.

From 1984, when he received his doctorate, through 1995, Jim's work was based primarily in University settings -- the Wharton School, where he was also Assistant Director of the Wharton Leadership Program and Yale University's School of Organization and Management. Since 1995, when he left University employment, Jim has continued to teach as faculty in numerous programs and Institutes, including the McKinsey Center for Asian Leadership, INSEAD, the William Alanson White Institute, OCD Israel, RMIT University in Melbourne, and the Universidad de Santiago in Chile.

At this point, Jim works primarily as a consultant, where he is a Principal of the Nautilus Consulting Group LLC, a firm that assists organizations confronting the need for significant change. His engagements include working with organizational and role design; advising executives and teams; strategy implementation; problem diagnosis and intervention; supporting merger integration; and bringing about greater alignment of subsystems to support overall effectiveness. He also serves as President of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations, is also a Fellow of the A.K. Rice Institute, and a member of OPUS.

Among his publications are:

"Sources of Hope in Contemporary Organizations" in B. Sievers, R. Mersky & U. Bremer (eds) Socio-analytic thoughts on the rational /normal madness in organizations. Dusseldorf: EHP-Verlag Andreas Kohlhage, 2008.

"Bricks Without Mortar: The Decline of Sentience in Global Organizations," with Gould, L. presented at the OPUS Conference, 2005. (forthcoming)

"Reflection in Organizations." forthcoming. Also published as "Einige Gedanken über Reflexion in Organisationen" Freie Assoziation Zeitschrift für das Unbewusste in Organisation und Kultur 8, (2005), 2

"Fundamentalism and the Search for Mature Hope" E.J. Miller Memorial Lecture, OPUS, London. Journal of Organisational and Social Dynamics. Vol. 6, No. 2, 2006. pp. 258-272

"Leadership, Betrayal and Adaptation." Human Relations Vol. 59(2), 2006. P. 221-240

"Dilemmas of Organizational Change: A Systems Perspective." in L. Gould, M. Stein & L. Stapley (eds.) The Systems Psychodynamics or Organizations. London: Karnac Books, 2001

"Anxiety & the New Order." In E. Klein, F. Gabelnick and P. Herr (eds.) Leadership in the 21st Century. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1998.

"A Framework for Consulting to Organizational Role." with M. Maltz. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research. Spring 1997. Volume 49, No. 2. pp. 137-151.

"Innovation in the Public Sector: Managing the Tension between Protection and Encapsulation" with T. Gilmore. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 10, No. 3, Summer 1992.

"Listening with the Third Ear in Organizational Consulting: Projective Identification in the Consulting Relationship." in M. Kets de Vries (ed.) Organizations on the Couch: Handbook of Psychoanalysis and Management. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991

"Lessons from the Field: An Essay on the Crisis of Leadership in Contemporary Organizations." Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. Vol. 26, No. 1, 1990. pp. 49-64.

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