Title: Struggling with Lack: A Lacanian Perspective on Organizational Identity
Author: Michaela Driver
The purpose of this paper is to contribute to research on organizational identity by developing a psychoanalytic perspective. In particular, the author draws on Lacanian theorizing to explore how organizational identity discourse is informed by imaginary constructions of subjectivity. It is proposed that the collective construction of coherent, unitary, and definably organizational identity discourse is validated by and validates conscious but illusory constructions of the self. The resulting discourse is inevitably disrupted by unconscious subjectivity and invariably fails. Therefore, the collective construction of fragmented, dynamic, and emergent organizational identity discourse is equally inevitable. While such discourse can be illusory, it also contains the opportunity for engaging in liberating struggles with identity as lack. The implications of this perspective for the theory and practice of organizational identity are discussed.