The Clinical Paradigm: A Primer for Personal Change

  • Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
  • Konstantin Korotov
Part of the INSEAD Business Press book series (IBP)


Many philosophers, poets, and other thinkers have posited throughout the ages that the key to growth and happiness lies in knowing and accepting oneself. A variation on this theme—that leadership development starts with an exploration of, and by, the leader—will reappear in many chapters in this book. In undertaking this kind of human adventure, we use a concise but robust framework: the clinical paradigm.1 The clinical paradigm is based on several premises. The first is that all human behavior, even in its most odd or deviant forms, has a rational explanation. Although deceptively simple, this premise poses a huge challenge to a business school professor, an executive coach, or other professionals working with leaders; it means they will have to use the tools and methods of a “psychological detective” to uncover explanatory factors underlying the behavior they perceive. Fortunately, the leader as an executive education or coaching client can become a detective as well; the clinical paradigm, when explained, offers the coach or educator a tremendous opportunity to use the leader’s own behavior as a real-life case study, with the added advantage that this particular text is sure to be of interest to the executive concerned.


Leadership Development Deviant Form Life Script Executive Coach Clinical Paradigm 
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Copyright information

© Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries and Konstantin Korotov 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
  • Konstantin Korotov

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