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Handbook for Strategic HR by OD Network

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CHAPTER 26

Diagnosing Covert Processes in Groups and Organizations

Robert J. Marshak and Judith H. Katz

BY DEFINITION, something covert is undercover. It is concealed, disguised; in short, hidden from view. How then does one go about detecting the presence of a covert dynamic at work in a group or organization?

When we first began thinking about covert processes, this was a question we frequently asked ourselves. One approach we discovered is paying attention to the symbolic messages being sent by the system. We found that a dynamic which was basically covert is frequently presented more openly on a symbolic level by one or more people in the system. Earlier we presented our insights about how to use such symbolic data for group and organizational ...

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