About us

The Center for Psychosocial Organization Studies is an independent research center dedicated to advancing psychoanalytic and psychosocial approaches to organizational research and scholarship. The debate(s) between and within psychoanalysis and psychosocial studies are ongoing. Our project is locating organization studies within this broader conversation.

We recognize that the psychosocial is always in flux, defies essentialization, and must continually be critiqued. We view psychosocial organization studies as floating in the potential space between the psycho- and the -social. This is a space of disruption, imagination, and innovation.

Our work builds on a tradition of scholarship that examines unconscious dynamics in organizations and broader society. We aim to generate knowledge and imaginative possibilities for improving organizations through:

  1. Sponsoring reading and discussion groups on the topic of psychoanalytic qualitative research methods.
  2. Creating a repository of scholarly writing that applies psychoanalysis to contemporary organizational and social issues.
  3. Fostering community for established and emerging psychoanalytically-oriented scholars.

History

The Center for Psychosocial Organization Studies was established in September of 2018 by a small group of scholars who share an enduring interest in both psychoanalysis and the study of organizations and organizing. We became a formal nonprofit organization (Missouri, USA) in October of 2021.

The founding members (Drs. Mindy Duncan, Sara R.S.T.A. Elias, Nathan Gerard, and Eda Ulus) met when they presented papers at the 2017 EGOS Colloquium in Copenhagen as participants in Sub-Theme 45: Uncovering the hidden: Psychoanalytic insights into the ‘Good Organization’.

In the five years since the Center for Psychosocial Organization Studies was founded we have:

  • Established and maintained a reading group focused on psychosocial organizational research and scholarship.
  • Facilitated a workshop entitled ‘Psychoanalysis and Organizations: New discoveries and new directions’ at the 2018 annual meeting of the Academy of Management in Chicago.
  • Facilitated a workshop entitled ‘Broadening Our Sight: Seeing Change Differently through Psychoanalysis’ at the 2020 annual meeting of the Academy of Management in Vancouver. (Watch here)
  • Facilitated a workshop entitled ‘New Engagement with the Future: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Anxieties and Defenses in Teaching and Learning (about Management and Organizations) as part of the annual symposium of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations (ISPSO) on June 29, 2022.
  • Facilitated a workshop entitled ‘New Engagement with the Future: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Anxieties and Defenses in Teaching and Learning (about Management and Organizations) at the 2022 annual meeting of the Academy of Management in Seattle.