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Motivation and identity: A psychoanalytic perspective on the turn to identity in motivation research

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posted on 2016-11-28, 11:44 authored by Michaela Driver
Taking the recent turn to identity in motivation research as its starting point, the study attempts to move the field further beyond instrumentalizing and fractionalizing conceptions in which motivation is simply a question of pulling the right levers. Drawing on a psychoanalytic, particularly Lacanian, perspective and an analysis of 51 narratives shared by employees from a number of occupations, it develops a more fine-grained and complex understanding of how motivation functions in the context of identity work. Specifically, the study explores how motivation is invariably mapped onto internal struggles with unconscious subjectivity and desire. These may align individuals more with organizational ideals of the properly motivated employee but also create an empowering space in which they can work through work-related fantasies and find enjoyment on their own terms. The implications of this perspective are discussed.

History

Citation

Human Relations, 2017

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of Management

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Human Relations

Publisher

SAGE Publications (UK and US), Tavistock Institute

issn

0018-7267

eissn

1741-282X

Acceptance date

2016-08-15

Copyright date

2017

Available date

2017-03-11

Publisher version

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0018726716669577

Language

en

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