Journal Papers

Corporate Robespierres, ideologies of management and change


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an introductory overview of this special issue highlighting some of the distinctive features of Žižek’s Lacan‐inspired thought relevant to the role of ideologies in organizational change management.

Design/methodology/approach – The approach used aims to show how ideological and ethical ramifications of Žižek’s recent analysis of a “Jacobin” change paradigm can affect thought on everyday change practices in business and management.

Findings – Some parallels are drawn between current change practices and narrative tactics employed by Robespierre during the Jacobin reign of terror to “extort” the commitment of participants in the change process.

Practical implications – This paper/special issue invites reconsideration of our late capitalist intellectual/practical “reflexes” in change management, i.e. to reassess their ideological mechanism.

Originality/value – Žižekian/Lacanian approaches to organizations and change are especially suitable for this purpose but have only recently begun to emerge.

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