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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2013

Gilles Arnaud and Stijn Vanheule

This paper aims to reflect on how Lacanian psychoanalysis might inform management studies, and discuss limitations and consequences of adopting this particular framework…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to reflect on how Lacanian psychoanalysis might inform management studies, and discuss limitations and consequences of adopting this particular framework for doing research in organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors integrate existing literature on the topic, and try to articulate what Lacanian psychoanalysis contributes to the study of organizations and management; what its conceptual premises are; and which methodological consequences these premises have. Special attention is paid to the epistemological position of Lacanian psychoanalysis, and to potential pitfalls in using Lacanian theory.

Findings

The authors highlight the danger of Lacanian theory functioning as a dogmatic interpretative frame, and suggest countering this tendency by accentuating both the spirit of investigation fostered by Lacan and the ethical stakes of psychoanalytic intervention. The authors equally contend that Lacanian psychoanalysis problematizes the underpinnings of scientific discourse in general, with the epistemological foundations of the social sciences being called into question. Finally, they note that the scientific character of Lacanian psychoanalysis is itself open to contestation if approached from a positivistic point of view. Addressing these objections, the authors argue for the possibility of a promising epistemological convergence between psychoanalysis and management studies.

Originality/value

Overall, the authors' point is that Lacanian theory is unique in its systematic study of the dimension of the excluded and that it is in the study of this dimension that the benefit for organization and management research is to be found.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 51 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 29 January 2020

Nathan Gerard

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the relevance of psychoanalysis to an emerging sub-field known as “critical healthcare management studies” (CHMS).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the relevance of psychoanalysis to an emerging sub-field known as “critical healthcare management studies” (CHMS).

Design/methodology/approach

Building upon a wave of critical scholarship in the broader field of management, scholars and practitioners of healthcare management have begun to forge a critical scholarly movement of their own. CHMS, short for “critical healthcare management studies,” formally denotes a new subfield of inquiry dedicated to challenging entrenched assumptions, exposing power relations, and cultivating critical praxis, all the while serving as a vital counterpoint to mainstream scholarship. This paper seeks to augment the CHMS movement with psychoanalysis, and particularly the critical vein of organizational psychoanalysis already well-established in critical management studies.

Findings

The argument is made that a greater engagement with psychoanalysis offers novel avenues for critical theorizing and practice in healthcare management. Specifically three areas are considered: 1) the exploitative role of guilt in the caring professions, 2) the resurgence of authoritarianism and its implications for unconscious organizational dynamics, and 3) the potential for a psychoanalytically informed critical healthcare praxis.

Originality/value

While there remain wide differences of opinion about the utility of psychoanalysis outside of the clinical arena, this paper reveals just how psychoanalysis can inform today's healthcare organizations, and more broadly the social and political organization of health in society.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Leroy Lowe, Albert Mills and Jane Mullen

By the very nature of its concerns (i.e. a search for deep‐seated meanings within our understandings of organizations and the people who enact them), psychoanalysis has…

Abstract

By the very nature of its concerns (i.e. a search for deep‐seated meanings within our understandings of organizations and the people who enact them), psychoanalysis has much to offer management practice in the twenty‐first century. We contend that, given its focus, the growing concerns with the dynamics of gender at work places a particular burden on psychoanalysis. Drawing on insights from debates within feminist psychoanalysis, we suggest a strategy for applying psychoanalysis that is capable of dealing with the gendered aspects of organizational dynamics.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1998

Thibault de Swarte

Psychoanalysis and management are “strangers” to one another for epistemological reasons mainly related to their different spiritual fathers, scientific goals, validation…

Abstract

Psychoanalysis and management are “strangers” to one another for epistemological reasons mainly related to their different spiritual fathers, scientific goals, validation criteria and dominant methodologies. However, some of these spiritual fathers did, in the early twentieth century, have the intuition of interesting partial convergence. Today, there is some good research, even if marginal, in both the managerial and psychoanalytic fields, being conducted at the intersection of psychoanalysis and management. This research focuses more on a psychoanalytical attentiveness to management acts than on a managerial use of psychoanalysis, which would, in fact, contradict basic psychoanalytic hypotheses and methodologies.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 13 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1998

Roland Brunner

Psychoanalysis has nothing to say about firms or management as such; inversely, psychoanalytic coaching can aid managers to develop a better understanding of the role they…

Abstract

Psychoanalysis has nothing to say about firms or management as such; inversely, psychoanalytic coaching can aid managers to develop a better understanding of the role they exercise within the firm and to better position themselves in decision making and communication with other people. While it is a practice that takes place outside the classical psychoanalytic framework, psychoanalytic coaching must meet certain criteria in order to justify a psychoanalytic filiation: amongst others, the recognition of the unconscious and of the mechanisms of transference and counter‐transference. Crucially, the analyst is at the service of the subject (the manager) ‐ even if it is the firm that pays for the treatment. While there are risks involved for all parties concerned (the manager, the firm and the analyst), psychoanalytic coaching offers a way of rendering meaningful a management that encompasses the respect of oneself and of others.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 13 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Yiannis Gabriel and Adrian Carr

An overview is presented of some basic psychoanalytic insights into organisations that collectively reinforce the reasons why management studies should concern itself with…

Abstract

An overview is presented of some basic psychoanalytic insights into organisations that collectively reinforce the reasons why management studies should concern itself with psychoanalysis. The paper highlights the different psychoanalytically informed approaches that have been adopted thus far in the organisation literature and then raises some issues related to those who seek to use psychoanalytically informed insight to make interventions and manage organisation dynamics.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2009

Adrian N. Carr and Cheryl A. Lapp

This paper introduces this special issue and initially provides some contextual background to the field of psychodynamics, its significance to organisational studies and…

Abstract

This paper introduces this special issue and initially provides some contextual background to the field of psychodynamics, its significance to organisational studies and the understanding of behaviour in organizations. The internationally-based papers in this special issue are then introduced and summarised.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Abstract

Details

Mad Muse: The Mental Illness Memoir in a Writer's Life and Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-810-0

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Article
Publication date: 24 June 2013

Gary Winship

The purpose of this paper is to construct a genealogy of therapeutic communities (TCs), with the espoused commitment to flattened hierarchies and democratic ideologies…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to construct a genealogy of therapeutic communities (TCs), with the espoused commitment to flattened hierarchies and democratic ideologies, the paper considers the lineage of the Frankfurt School of Social Research and its influence in setting a frame for TC ideology, with a particular focus on Herbert Marcuse and Eric Fromm. This genealogy provides further context to the contribution of two other key Frankfurters, Karl Mannheim and Michael Foulkes, who progressed therapeutic democracy in the UK and shaped the early days of the TC as a group-based treatment paradigm.

Design/methodology/approach

Discourse analysis and collective biography based on biographical details, texts and witness accounts.

Findings

The works of Marcuse and Fromm provide a hybrid psychosocial post-Freudian schemas that beckoned philosophic reconciliation between the state and the personal psyche culminating in new left psychoanalytic academic sectors. Eric Fromm's contribution is situated squarely in the clinical sphere in the USA dating from the 1930s after he fled from Germany and settled in the USA where he became a well-known lecturer at Chestnut Lodge during a time when it was developing its approach under the rubric of “milieu therapy”. Marcuse's influence on psychiatry is tracked through the development of ideas and writings emerging from his reading of Freud, finally intersecting with the emergence of TCs and anti-psychiatry when he delivered the keynote address at the Dialectics of Liberation Conference in London in 1967. Held at the height of the first generation of TCs, Joe Berke, R.D. Laing and colleagues considered Marcuse as someone to headline the Dialectics Conference because; “Marcuse was the Grandpapa of Flower Power” (Joe Berke said).

Originality/value

A rapprochement between milieu therapy in the USA, influenced by Fromm and Marcuse and the European tradition of TCs, influenced by Mannheim and Foulkes is demonstrated. The Frankfurt Institute of Social Research can be seen as an ideological corner that transcends Atlantic divides, and provides a sturdy and lasting intellectual cornerstone for the history of ideas in the field of social psychiatry.

Details

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, vol. 34 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-1866

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Book part
Publication date: 29 August 2017

Thomas Taro Lennerfors

In this chapter, four different theorizations of corruption are presented. The first concerns the principal–agent understanding of corruption. The second explains how a…

Abstract

In this chapter, four different theorizations of corruption are presented. The first concerns the principal–agent understanding of corruption. The second explains how a person is socialized into corruption. The third builds on philosophy and posits that corruption is degeneration from an ideal, presenting a multifaceted view of different goods and their respective corruptions. The fourth is inspired by psychoanalysis and explains why corruption is often externalized and seen as a feature of other people, companies, sectors, and countries. The chapter claims that to understand corruption fully without running into simplistic analyses, one always needs to reflexively consider various perspectives, of which these four are important examples.

Details

The Handbook of Business and Corruption
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-445-7

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