Jungian archetypes and dreams of social enterprise

Mary Louise Brown (Banchory, UK)
Seonaidh McDonald (Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK)
Fiona Smith (Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Publication date: 28 June 2013



The purpose of this paper is to consider a psychoanalytic explanation for the challenges facing social entrepreneurs in Scotland.


A qualitative approach was used, in an exploratory study involving semi‐structured interviews with, and observation of, a purposive sample of social entrepreneurs.


Respondents exhibited a sense of splitting between the archetype of hard driving business leader and that of social reformer. One respondent was able successfully to integrate the two roles through an intuitive understanding of psychodynamic processes.

Research limitations/implications

This was an exploratory study with a small sample.

Practical implications

In a period of financial challenge for the UK economy, presenting new challenges for social enterprises, the findings add to researchers' understanding of apparently irrational responses to change.


There is limited research into the impact of archetypes on business behaviours and the paper aims to extend the literature.



Brown, M., McDonald, S. and Smith, F. (2013), "Jungian archetypes and dreams of social enterprise", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 670-688. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-Sep-2012-0146

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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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