Affective control in new collaborative work: Communal fantasies of purpose, growth and belonging

Item Type Journal paper

We examine the increasing popularity of collaborative work practices to understand its consequences for organizational control. Applying a Lacanian framework, we pay attention to how this (re-)emerging trend of collaborative work is underpinned by affect-laden fantasies of community-driven co-creation. Based on a multi-source study design to explore collaborative work, we identified three interrelated fantasies that arouse passionate attachments to
collaborative community involvement: a spiritual fantasy of ‘purpose,’ an entrepreneurial fantasy of ‘growth,’ and a tribal fantasy of ‘belonging.’ To preserve the relevance of Lacan’s
thought for the inquiry of distributed, post-heroic, and post-hierarchical work practice, we propose the notion of ‘communal Other.’ This notion provides insights into the unfolding of
control through the fantasmatic desire for wholeness by working in collaborative communities. Conceptually, we theorize how tensions between the paradoxical enjoyment of pleasure and
pain – what Lacan called ‘jouissance’ – highlight the central importance of affective control in collaborative work.

Authors Resch, Bernhard; Hoyer, Patrizia & Steyaert, Chris
Journal or Publication Title Organization Studies
Language English
Keywords Collaborative work, community, affective control, Lacan, fantasy, jouissance, paradoxical tension
Subjects business studies
social sciences
cultural studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SoM - Business Innovation
Refereed Yes
Date 25 July 2020
Publisher SAGE journals
ISSN 0170-8406
Publisher DOI 10.1177/0170840620941616
Depositing User Christina Ihasz
Date Deposited 15 Jul 2020 09:24
Last Modified 15 Sep 2020 08:33


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Resch, Bernhard; Hoyer, Patrizia & Steyaert, Chris (2020) Affective control in new collaborative work: Communal fantasies of purpose, growth and belonging. Organization Studies, ISSN 0170-8406

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