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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Jacques Lacan is a French psychoanalyst and philosopher who was both admired and loathed and regarded by some as a guru and by others as a charlatan. His work helps illuminate how the unconscious and the concept of organization are intertwined. By subjecting Sigmund Freud’s theories to an inspirational rereading, Lacan contributed in a major way to post-structuralist theory. Lacanian theory has emerged as a basis for interpreting various aspects of organizational life, from entrepreneurship and identity to power and resistance, embodied subjectivity, organizational burnout, and organizational dynamics. This chapter first provides a brief overview of Lacan’s life before discussing some of the major aspects of his work and their relevance to organization studies. It also examines Lacanian organization theory and how it is influenced by his notions of lack/desire/jouissance, focusing on the three registers of the Symbolic, Imaginary, and the Real.

Keywords: Jacques Lacan, Sigmund Freud, post-structuralist theory, organizational life, organization studies, organization theory, Symbolic, Imaginary, Real, unconscious

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