Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Timothy R. Kuhn

Second Advisor

Karen L. Ashcraft

Third Advisor

Lawrence R. Frey

Fourth Advisor

Jody Jahn

Fifth Advisor

Amy Wilkins


This organizational communication research study investigates the ways in which individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) narratively negotiate their organizational identities. Thirty-four adults with OCD were interviewed, and the findings from this study suggest that participants drew on a particular set of discursive resources to account for, justify, or explain their organizational behavior, organizational or career position, manifestations of OCD, misconceptions of OCD, and the stigmatic identity of being “mentally ill.” These discursive resources include normalcy, organizing and economy, medicine, and personal life scripts. Theoretically, this study has implications for the ways in which OCD, identity, and organizational communication are studied. The practical application of this study is a communication intervention for adults in intensive treatment for OCD, which includes recommendations for the meaning management of discursive resources in the workplace.