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Traversing the empty promise: management, subjectivity and the Other's desire

Hoedemaekers, C (2009) 'Traversing the empty promise: management, subjectivity and the Other's desire.' Journal of Organizational Change Management, 22 (2). pp. 181-201. ISSN 0953-4814

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Abstract

Purpose ? This paper seeks to explore the notion of desire in relation to subjectivity at work by drawing on the work of Jacques Lacan. It aims particularly to consider the possible ways in which desire is evoked and channeled in managerial practices that are aimed at managing the self. Design/methodology/approach ? The paper provides an illustration of this by a reading of how developmental HRM practices attempt to elicit and channel subjects' desire. Findings ? Particular images promulgated by these practices appeal to the subject in such a way, that it becomes caught in a relationship of fascination with them. These practices thereby attempt to create identification with a fantasmatic image of the self, and in so doing, to shape subjectivity in line with managerial objectives. It is also argued that a different modality of relating to desire can provide a way of avoiding the most detrimental effects associated with these practices, and I indicate possible ways in which this different modality or ?traversal? may take shape. Originality/value ? The paper analyzes the use of desire in management practices.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Employee behaviour; Human Resource management; humour; management technique
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2013 13:19
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:26
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/7329

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