Corporate Stockholm Syndrome

I recently started a new job, after more than a year of freelance jobsStockholm Syndrome Comic from My Medicated Life and short-term contracts in and out of the AV industry. I’ve now “tasted” a variety of companies in different segments of our industry and now that I’ve returned to my roots as a systems integrator, I’m discovering that I’ve suffered from Corporate Stockholm Syndrome.

If you Google “corporate Stockholm Syndrome,” many bloggers and authors have tried to redefine the psychological phenomenon of hostages identifying with their captors for the corporate and business world. One of the best attempts comes from a programming company, C2, which describes the term as “the phenomenon wherein employees of a business start to identify with, and are exceedingly loyal to, an employer who is manifestly hostile to their own self-interest.”  For my purposes, however, this definition can be expanded.

I’ve discovered, since starting work at a new integrator, that I have a set and fixed idea in my head what “being an integrator” is – that I have a fairly narrow definition of that idea, developed through my experiences in a few rather small slices of our industry and that my own understanding of “being an integrator” is being challenged, evolving and growing through my new endeavor.  I’m learning that there is more than one way to skin a cat as the old trope goes, so not only must I learn the ways my new company performs its day-to-day integration operations, I also must learn to adjust my own expectations of the daily and long-term work, and perform accordingly.

Now, on the bright side, I’ve already learned – to my utter joy – that my own philosophies, innovative impulses and creative vibes are far more in line with those of the new company than they’ve been with any other company I’ve been involved with. That bodes very well for our shared future and mutual success.  So, while I’ve got to “deprogram” myself as we go, I’m sure bright things lie ahead for AVDawn.

What about you?  Have you ever had an experience with Corporate Stockholm Syndrome?  Of getting sucked into a business environment where you lose perspective of the bigger picture (be it personally, of the industry big-picture, or of the world at large)? Have you ever started a new position and constantly had to pinch yourself that, no, this is really how things work here (on the good side, or the bad side)?  Let me know in the comments below!

Comic, titled “Stockholm Syndrome for Animators” by My Medicated Cartoon Life –


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