Identities and identifications in organizations: dynamics of antipathy, deadlock, and alliance

Jaco Lok, Hugh Willmott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


We examine the dynamics of identity formation in organizations, with a particular focus on the development of antipathies and deadlocks, by engaging a well-regarded study of identity in organizations. By revisiting this study through the lens of a social theory of hegemony (STH), we show how this theory can bring fresh insights to studies of identity, resistance, and deadlock in organizations. We argue that the "othering" and scapegoating involved in organizational deadlocks can be driven by fantasmatic identifications that dim the prospects for discerning and exploring areas of common cause. A condition of possibility of breaking such deadlocks is, conversely, a traversing of the fantasies that cement the impasse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-230
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Control
  • Critical performativity
  • Deadlock
  • Identity
  • Lacan
  • Organizational identity
  • Resistance
  • Social theory of hegemony


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