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  • %0 ART
  • %T Managing society: The past belonged to economists : The future belongs to psychologists
  • %A RAVEN John
  • %G 1233-6009
  • %I Fundacja Srodkowoeuropejskie Centrum Ekonomii Dzialania Spolecznego
  • %C Lublin, POLOGNE
  • %D 1995
  • %V 1
  • %N 2
  • %P 7-45
  • %P 39
  • %O Anglais
  • %X In this paper it will be argued that the understandings and tools required to run modern societies effectively are essentially psychological. The application of economic theories - and especially free market principles - has brought the planet to the verge of collapse. The soils, the seas, the atmosphere have been destroyed and polluted almost beyond recovery. The biosphere has been destroyed so that global warming will mean that the sea level will rise to flood many of our cities and agricultural lands. The American grain harvests will fail. Our food base will collapse. For quite other reasons, our financial system is also on the verge of collapse. As societies struggle to maintain their current levels of consumption in a situation of markedly diminishing resources and civic and financial disorder there is every danger of a nuclear winter the effects of which will be exacerbated by the products of chemical warfare. What looks like the triumph of capitalism will therefore be short-lived indeed. The avoidance of these disasters requires the application of the concepts and methods of organisational psychology to the management of society. Within organisations, organisational psychologists work to clarify the goals of the organisation, to discover whether or not they are being achieved, to identify the barriers to their achievement, and to create the organisational arrangements, organisational appraisal tools, and staff placement and development systems that are required to achieve them. At a societal level, psychologists need to be laying claim to help society clarify its goals, the consequences of pursuing alternative goals and doing things in different ways, to develop the organisational arrangements needed to achieve agreed goals, to develop the organisational appraisal tools required to find out whether they are being achieved, to identify the barriers to their achievement, to experiment with and evaluate ways of overcoming those barriers, to clarify the forms of management that are required, and to develop more appropriate criteria and tools of staff appraisal. A whole domain of applied psychology, which might be termed societal psychology, is urgently required and awaits pioneers to open it up. Key developments include new concepts of wealth, management, bureaucracy, and democracy. However, if we are to open up this domain, psychologists will have to put their own house in order. We will have to promote more appropriate concepts of science and evaluate the work of our colleagues against criteria which will encourage them to do work of the kind that is needed. 
  • %S Journal for mental changes

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