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45. Lowe, L., Mullen, J., and Mills, A. J. (2002) `Gendering the Silences: Psychoanalysis, Gender and Organization Studies'. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Denver, August.

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45. Lowe, L., Mullen, J., and Mills, A. J. (2002) `Gendering the Silences: Psychoanalysis, Gender and Organization Studies'. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Denver, August.
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  11103 Gendering the Silences: Psychoanalysis, Gender and Organization Studies. Leroy LoweDepartment of Management,Frank H. Sobey Faculty of Commerce,Saint Mary's University,903, Robie Street,Halifax, Nova ScotiaCanada B3H 3C3Tel: 902-893-5362Fax: 902-893-5380Email: lowelj@truro.nscc.ns.ca Jane Mullen,Department of Management,Frank H. Sobey Faculty of Commerce,Saint Mary's University,903, Robie Street,Halifax, Nova ScotiaCanada B3H 3C3Tel: (902) 445-5608Fax: (902) 420-5119Email:  janemullen@hfx.eastlink.ca Albert J. MillsDepartment of Management,Frank H. Sobey Faculty of Commerce,Saint Mary's University,903, Robie Street,Halifax, Nova ScotiaCanada B3H 3C3Tele: [902] 420 5778Fax: [902] 420 5119Email: Albert.Mills@STMARYS.ca Paper accepted for presentation to the Gender and Diversity Division of the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Denver, 2002  Gendering the Silences: Psychoanalysis, Gender and Organization StudiesBackground and Introduction Psychoanalysis has had a dramatic but uneven impact on organizational analysis overmuch of the Twentieth Century. For a time, the centrality of psychoanalysis in the work of the Frankfurt School and in the latter stages of the emergent Human Relations Schoolof Management placed it at the forefront of organizational analysis. Despite its early highprofile and far-reaching insights, its influence waned through the war years and much of the post-war era. It experienced something of a revival in the 1960s (Marcuse, 1970)where it formed part of the critique of mainstream social thinking and the widespreadsearch for meaning, only to fade once again in the wake of new management orthodoxies(Burrell & Morgan, 1979). A more recent revival was evidenced in the last decade of theTwentieth Century in the wake of post-modernist concern with identity (cf. Carr, 1999a).Like the other papers in this edition, we contend that psychoanalysis has much to offermanagement practice by way of insights into the deep-rooted nature of workplacebehaviours. However, we also contend that the utility of psychoanalysis and its ability tomake a sustained contribution to the field of organizational analysis will depend in somemeasure on how well it is able to deal with the issue of gender.Arguably, the very discourse of postmodernism that has provided the impetus formuch of the recent focus on identity (and subjectivities) serves as a powerful critique of "modernist" approaches such as psychoanalysis. Perhaps more telling (and central to theargument put forward in this paper) has been the ambiguity surrounding the ability of psychoanalysis to deal with the issue of gender. Over the past twenty-five yearsmainstream organizational analysis has responded to the growing critique of the neglectof gender (Mills & Tancred, 1992), incorporating numerous gendered insights andconcerns. The current popularity of "diversity management" is but one prominentexample of this trend. Whereas postmodernist approaches to management andorganization studies have been able to deal with gender issues in a seamless flow fromtheory to application (Calás & Smircich, 1996), psychoanalysis appears mired intheoretical foundations that are viewed as profoundly gendered (Lerman, 1987; Weedon,1993).In this paper we contend that by the very nature of its concerns (i.e., a search fordeep seated meanings within our understandings of organizations and the people whoenact them), psychoanalysis has much to offer management practice in the Twenty Firstcentury. We also contend that, given its focus, the growing concerns with the dynamics  of gender at work places a particular burden on psychoanalysis. Drawing on insightsfrom debates within feminist psychoanalysis, we suggest a strategy for encouragingfurther research into the development of psychoanalytical approaches capable of unraveling the nature of management and organization in all their gendered layers. Organizational Analysis & Psychoanalysis in the 21st Century Organizational analysis, as is well known, has its roots in the search for organizationalefficiency. To that end, the field has justifiably been characterized as "managerialist" inits focus on structures and behaviours that serve the ends of organizational owners andmanagers (Mills & Simmons, 1999). This has developed within a scientifistic framework which encourages study of the rational and objectivist aspects of organizational reality atthe expense of the non-rational and subjectivist aspects (Corman & Poole, 2000). Oneresult has been the neglect of such things as emotionality, sensemaking, symbolism,personality, and the individual -- leading recent commentators to talk of the individual inorganization studies as "the great disappearing act" (Nord & Fox, 1996). As the`individual' has begun to disappear from organizational analysis the notion of the rational,or `normal' organizational member has taken centre stage, i.e., much of organizationalbehaviour and theory is premised on the idea that employees have little or no`psychological baggage', only different levels of ability, psychological preparedness andcommitment.Over the last three decades various alternative approaches to and withinmainstream organizational analysis have questioned the viability of ignoring ordownplaying the deep-seated aspects of an individual's psychological make-up. Weick (Weick, 1995), for example, has drawn attention to the role of sensemaking in theconstruction of organization and its outcomes. Morgan (1986), drawing onpsychoanalytical theory, has argued that unquestioned dominant organizational ideas canstifle creativity and individuality as employees become trapped in a "psychic prison" of their own making. Similarly, Hochschild's (1983) work has highlighted the role of emotion labour in the demise of employee sense of self, and, Collinson and Hearn(1994) and Calás and Smircich (1996) have, respectively, exposed the role of men/masculinity, women/femininity in the social construction of organizational realities.Cutting across the different paradigmatic divides, the organizational culture debate in the1980s opened up discussion of the non-rational aspects of organizational arrangements(Smircich, 1983): despite a return to more structural solutions to organizational change  (e.g., TQM, BRP, etc.), concerns with the deep-rooted "cultural" aspects of theorganizational experience continue to be explored (cf. Martin, 2002).The essence of this philosophical debate was also reproduced in an exchangebetween Jaques (1995, 1995b) and Amado (1995). Jaques asserted that a psychoanalyticalapproach to organizational analysis focuses on symptom-like issues that serve only toobfuscate the structural deficiencies of poorly designed organizations. He thereforesuggests that research should be strictly focused on the development of betterorganizational systems and structures. Amado, on the other hand, defended the use of psychoanalysis by placing the complex experiences of the individual at the center of theproblem. He argues that no single, universal model representing the ideal organizationaldesign will ever fully eliminate the dysfunctionalities and resulting challenges that arebound to arise when groups of individuals work together.While the two approaches to organizational analysis appear unlikely to convergein the near future, it is our contention that the approaches are not entirely in opposition.A considerable amount of future research effort may very well be directed towards thepursuit of improved organizational structure/design (i.e., for management purposes). Atthe same time however, we believe that increasing numbers of critical scholars willchoose to focus on the attainment of insights that will allow us to better understand,describe and ultimately improve the human experience within the organizations that havebeen created. Ultimately, these two approaches will inform one another. It is in this lightthat we see psychoanalysis as a practice that appears to have much to offerorganizational analysis in the 21st century.Early foundations of psychoanalysis being used in organizational analysis can beexplored by referring to the work of Erikson (1950), Jacques (1951) or Marcuse, (1970a).More recent work that describes the general nature of this research has been provided bya number of authors (e.g., Kets De Vries & Miller, 1985; Halbrooks, 1986; Diamond,1990; Gabriel, 1992; Czander, 1993; Diamond, 1993; Carr, 1999b). In essence,psychological dynamics within the organization inform organizational realities and, as aresult, psychoanalysis gives us an important theoretical framework to help us understandand explain those dynamics.Psychoanalysis helps to reveal processes which occur within every individual andwhich determine how each person will act. It shows how psychologicalpressure, especially anxiety can neutralize productive effort and drain awayhuman energy. It shows the ways in which people affect and relate to each otherin groups, and the ways in which leaders are created. It shows some of the basic  causes of problems, which are likely to occur in organizations…. (De Board,1978, p. 2)From the Frankfurt School to the present, psychoanalytical theories of organization havestudied both the impact of organizational arrangements on the individual and the impactof the individual on the organization. Horkheimer, for example, argued that capitalistorganization represses the life force (or libido) to ensure sufficient energy for production(see Held, 1980). Likewise Marcuse (1970a, 1970b) contended that bureaucratic controlinfluences not only the body but also the personality as it "atomizes" the employee. Morerecently Manfred Kets de Vries and others have (psycho) analyzed the impact of narcissistic leaders on organizational outcomes (Kets de Vries, 1991; Kets de Vries,Loper, & Doyle, 1994;; Kets de Vries, 1996a; Sankowsky, 1995) and the impact of bureaucratic organization on personality development (Kets de Vries, 1989).In short, this is a promising area of organizational research that has beenexperiencing a resurgence of interest over the past decade. Researchers have usedpsychoanalysis to generate unique insights on scores of topics and the level of analysistakes us far closer to the individuals within the organization. This is in stark contrast tothe type of research that explores a "system of interconnected roles" such as those foundin the "requisite organization" (Jaques, 1989). Psychoanalysis and Gender What is most striking about the most recent body of psychoanalytical research literaturein organizational analysis is that, at best, it is "gender-blind", and, at its worst, itreproduces notions of the organization as masculine. For example, in the De Board quoteabove it is assumed that gendered experiences play little or no role in the way that peoplerelate to one another in groups or provide leadership. This is an example of a gender-blind approach; numerous studies of group dynamics and leadership have suggested thatgender plays a significant role (cf. Harriman, 1985; Hearn & Parkin, 1991; Wilson,1995). In the following quote, Walter (1983: 259) provides us with a vision of theorganization that naturalizes masculinity. Focussed on "modern organizationalinhabitants", discussion about "the symbolism of success" centres on masculinity, withfemininity discussed unproblematically as an adjunct to the `male’ psyche:A graciously and perhaps even sumptuously decorated office reception of acompany communicates opulence and self-assurance . . . . So too does the
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