Running amok : the diary of an hysteric : business education, the self, & other oxymorons : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Management at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
This thesis is a work of fiction and falls under the genre of hysterical realism. Hysterical realism seeks to subvert, disrupt, and resist the status quo by blending actual events with absurdist fiction. I am, therefore, making a conscious decision to write differently – and not present my doctoral thesis in the normal, accepted manner. The book that follows is presented as a reflective journal, an exercise in narrative therapy, being read to a therapist. The purpose of these diaries, or chapters, is to shine a spotlight directly on what I perceive are serious deficiencies within business education and, in particular, the MBA. I have constructed this narrative in the only way I know: using humour, integrating popular culture, and providing my own unique take on the world. And, yes, I am writing as the hysteric. I have done this, not because I am a fanboy of Lacan, but because I don’t actually have a choice - the truth is: I am the hysteric. Within this text, the narrator will meet and converse with a number of individuals. These minor characters should be read for what they are: twisted versions of me. They are Lacanian mirrors, placed at intervals, in which I pause to see if I can glimpse some shadow of truth/Self in the dysmorphic reflections. The story begins, is punctuated at intervals by, and ends with conversations between the narrator (me) and his therapist (myself). These have been included to provide a mirror (the analyst’s discourse) for his hysterical discourse. This allows me to view myself as a text (a mirror through which I can better understand not only business education but the Self). I have also included numerous footnotes, which also operate as a mirror (the discourse of the university), providing the requisite, and inescapable, academic ballast that keeps this thesis afloat. It is through considering these various looking glasses and smashing each in turn, that I hope to see the real reflected back in the multitude of sharp splinters that will, through the construction of this book, be reassembled into a far more palatable whole.