Portrait of the Researcher as Recovering Neurotic: Contribution to a Panel on Doing Psychoanalytic Research in Organizations

7 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2013

Date Written: July 1, 2000

Abstract

I am not a researcher, but an artist. Researchers find things out; I make things up. My work in creating theory has been about making sense of the world in a way in which my life would make sense. Its truth lies in its place in my psychic economy. Following Ernest Becker, I conceived of organizations as defenses against mortality. This was a truth that I could face, but not my students. They hated it when I talked like that, which was appropriate in that it was really an expression of contempt for them. In the end, my theory was a device for defeating my father, and at the same time drawing close to him. It was a theory about organizations, but also a neurotic symptom. Idiosyncratic as it was, why would it be of interest to anyone else? First, because the structure of the theory is the result of the hard slogging work of the intellectual, and is invariant across psychic economies. Second, understanding it as a psychic expression is accomplished through rational means, which we all have, and is not really idiosyncratic at all.

Keywords: Research, Organization Theory, Neurosis, Psychoanalysis, Art

Suggested Citation

Schwartz, Howard, Portrait of the Researcher as Recovering Neurotic: Contribution to a Panel on Doing Psychoanalytic Research in Organizations (July 1, 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2278522 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2278522

Howard Schwartz (Contact Author)

Oakland University ( email )

17 Chittenden Avenue
Apt 5A
New York, NY 10033
United States
(248) 982-7044 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.marchofthevirgin.com

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