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Psychoanalysis, collective viewing and the “social photo matrix” in organizational research

Warren, Samantha (2012) 'Psychoanalysis, collective viewing and the “social photo matrix” in organizational research.' Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, 7 (1). pp. 86-104. ISSN 1746-5648 (In Press)

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to put forward an argument for the importance of social and situational dynamics present when groups of organizational members view images. This both enriches psychoanalytic theories of the visual previously brought to bear on this topic and adds a valuable psychoanalytical perspective to visual organization studies. Design/methodology/approach – The paper extends Burkard Sievers’ concept of the “social photo matrix” (SPM) through an interdisciplinary review of literature in psychoanalysis, audiencing, media studies and social theory. Findings – A socially nuanced variant of the SPM is put forward as a way to explore organizational members’ experiences of work and employment, as part of a nascent “visual methodological approach” to studying organization(s). Research limitations/implications – The ideas within this conceptual paper would benefit from empirical investigation. This would be a fruitful and interesting possibility for future research. Practical implications – The paper concludes with a discussion of the contemporary utility of the SPM as a psychoanalytically-motivated method through which to understand visually-mediated effects of organizational action, as collectively experienced by their members and stakeholders. Originality/value – The paper makes a particular contribution to the poorly-researched area of the collective reception of organizational images and opens up possibilities to work with the hidden anxieties and defences that arise in the course of organizational action.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Audiencing; organizational change; organizational development; photography; psychoanalysis; visual research
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Clare Chatfield
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2013 14:35
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2013 14:35

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