Fighting zombies: stories of struggling, surviving, resisting and belonging in a dying organisation.
This working paper is based on very recent PhD research with people (‘staff’ and ‘managers’) living through an organisational ‘zombie apocalypse’. It draws on psychoanalytic theory and practice, social and cultural theory and some limited aspects of academic/organisational literature. The case centres on the experiences of eight individuals (all female) who have been living with extreme organisational turbulence and uncertainty for several months. Four of these had been with the organisation for over ten years, the others for between four and seven years. While two of these individuals had recently moved on, the other six were facing the end in their current organisational ‘home’.
Based on a psychoanalytically-informed approach, the case reflects how this external, organisational, collapse is ‘played out’ internally. I have used a ‘Working Note’ approach (Miller, 1995), enabling a strong sense of connection with the experiences of the research participants as well as allowing for an on-going dialogue, where emerging working hypotheses have been tested during the research process.