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- PublicationThat Unwanted Feeling: A Psychodynamic Study of Disappointment in OrganizationsThis paper explores the emotion of disappointment in organizations and develops a newline of theorizing inspired by psychoanalytic object-relations theory. Existing literature frames disappointment as a threat to organizational effectiveness, as both a response and an anticipation of failure and as an emotion that needs to be managed in order to prevent it from damaging organizational morale and performance. This only captures part of the complexity of disappointment and leaves unexplored its potential contribution to organizational and individual learning and even creativity. The paper develops a theoretical framework which depicts disappointment in three configurations or positions, and it establishes the potential of disappointment acting as an integrative emotion with in organizations. The framework accounts for an apparent contradiction in organizational members' experience of disappointment – that it is, at the same time, seen as 'of little concern' to individuals, and yet viewed as capable of undermining stability and destroying positive feelings. The paper shows how disappointment is connected to the dynamics of blame in organizations but, when fully appreciated, can offer a way of moving beyond these dynamics by recognizing partial failure within an organization and turning it into the basis for organizational learning.
850Scopus© Citations 36
- Publication“If I Want to Feel My Feelings, I’ll See a Bloody Shrink”: Learning From the Shadow Side of Experiential LearningThis article discusses the value of learning from a psychodynamic approach to experiential learning. This approach is used to help students experience and understand the emotional and relational complexity of leading and managing within organizations. From this perspective, experiential learning means engaging with emotions and with embedded relations of power, to unsettle expectations of how organizations work. Here, we consider the professor’s role, which is to help students work with and through the emotional dynamics generated in work relationships, even when those dynamics are difficult to bear and the overriding impulse is to avoid or defend against them. In this way, students are being supported to better understand how organizations are emotional places, not how individuals within organizations can “manage” emotion.
418Scopus© Citations 18
- PublicationTheory as Fantasy: Emotional Dimensions to Grounded TheoryIn this paper we discuss emotions and fantasies that inform and influence the project of theory building. Our argument is that theory building can be improved by engaging directly with emotions and with fantasies that are defensively and creatively generated by the researcher. Once acknowledged, these can be transformed into ideas and insights. We provide an example of the emotional dynamics surrounding a novice researcher's use of grounded theory within her doctoral research. We highlight three distinctive researcher fantasies of containment, coherence and purity associated with her experience of the method. We discuss how engagement with these fantasies deepened the researcher's analysis and thereby enhanced the process of building theory from the data. Therefore, our paper contributes to an understanding of how fantasies mobilized by such an open‐ended research method can help to refine our thinking about emerging theory.
520Scopus© Citations 10