Understanding, Organizations & Personality

Open Structure (M. Elbe)
Open Structure (M. Elbe)

In modern societies understanding in everyday life lost its implicitness. And moreover: There is no evidence that we understand ourselves better than we understand others anymore. Increasingly we need support in interpreting our surrounding, our relations, our future options and our past experiences. This also refers to our working life and the organizations we work and live in. Understanding (Verstehen) as epistemological perspective is the foundation of hermeneutical philosophy, pragmatism, interpretative sociology, symbolic interactionism, humanistic psychology or phenomenological approaches to management.


A short introduction to knowledge, language games and organizational socialization as well as the philosophical outline from an understanding perspective is shown in the following text (Elbe, 2003).



Since the 1980s the institutional change has been increasing, particularly in the working environment. With the continually accelerating erosion of traditional working relationships, the concept of employability as approach to human resource development is answered by an orientation of employography by the employees. Under these circumstances an identity fit between organizations and their employees is hardly possible anymore.  From an understanding point of view it would be crucial to come to a point, where uncertainty is understood as a source of options in the future (Elbe, 2011).



Organizational and personal development programs are to take that in account to increase resilience as well as the identity fit between individuals and organizations. The concept of understanding is the key to this approach.

(Author: Martin Elbe, 2015)

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