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Jungian archetypes and dreams of social enterprise.

Brown, Mary Louise; McDonald, Seonaidh; Smith, Fiona


Mary Louise Brown

Seonaidh McDonald


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to consider a psychoanalytic explanation for the challenges facing social entrepreneurs in Scotland. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative approach was used, in an exploratory study involving semi‐structured interviews with, and observation of, a purposive sample of social entrepreneurs. Findings: Respondents exhibited a sense of splitting between the archetype of hard driving business leader and that of social reformer. One respondent was able successfully to integrate the two roles through an intuitive understanding of psychodynamic processes. Research limitations/implications: This was an exploratory study with a small sample. Practical implications: In a period of financial challenge for the UK economy, presenting new challenges for social enterprises, the findings add to researchers' understanding of apparently irrational responses to change. Originality/value: There is limited research into the impact of archetypes on business behaviours and the paper aims to extend the literature.


BROWN, M.L., MCDONALD, S. and SMITH, F. 2013. Jungian archetypes and dreams of social enterprise. Journal of organizational change management [online], 26(4), pages 670-688. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 28, 2013
Online Publication Date Jun 28, 2013
Publication Date Sep 30, 2013
Deposit Date Aug 12, 2014
Publicly Available Date Aug 12, 2014
Journal Journal of organizational change management
Print ISSN 0953-4814
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 4
Pages 670-688
Keywords Change management; Cultural change; Entrepreneurialism; Jungian archetypes; Jungian psychology; Non-profit organisations; Organisational culture; Scotland; Social enterprise; Ego ideal; Individuation; Shadowing
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