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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Fool'd with Hope, Men favour the Deceit? or, Can we Trust in Trust?

The importance of trust is heavily emphasized in contemporary organization theory and management practice. Although I am convinced that trust is a good thing and a necessary constituent of the social fabric, I am interested in understanding the social (and political) thinking underlying the current academic and non-academic view of trust. My working hypothesis is that management attempts to engineer trust reflect an underlying denial of the loss of hope regarding both the relatedness between organizational members and the value and meaning of organizations. The experience of non-relatedness and lack of trust cannot be acknowledged by management, therefore the loss of hope has to be hidden behind the propagation of the importance of trust (and relatedness). The denial of the loss of hope is an expression of psychotic thinking concomitant with the inability to see reality and to mourn loss. The engineered propagation of trust thus becomes a substitute for trust itself.