We describe the "cocoon transference" as resistance to change and suggest ways of intervening in defensive cocoon transferences as part of implementing organizational change. The cocoon transference recreates, or transfers, patterns of non-attachment set in motion early in life. The cocoon transference may be enacted as a defensive process when interpersonal relationships or social settings are perceived as a threat to the self. The workplace presents many interpersonal "dangers" that can trigger a defensive cocoon transference. As a result, people withdraw from important aspects of organizational change (e.g. brainstorming, scenario planning, and strategy formation). In times of stress and change this kind of intrapersonal, ultimately interpersonal, dynamic should be anticipated as a potential barrier to change.
The research associates of the Center for Psychosocial Organization Studies will host a professional development workshop at the 80th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management beginning on August 8, 2020 at 4:30pm ET (New York time). This virtual, asynchronous workshop will be available on the conference website through August 31, 2020.