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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Nie war Vertrauen in Organisationen so frag-werdig wie heute. Eine sozio-analytische Interpretation

The importance of trust is heavily emphasised in contemporary organisation 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 organisational members and the value and meaning of organisations. 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.