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Constructing the Professional Identity of the Renowned American Women of Organizational Change: A Story of Their Lives

Research in Organizational Change and Development

ISBN: 978-1-83909-084-4, eISBN: 978-1-83909-083-7

ISSN: 0897-3016

Publication date: 31 July 2020

Abstract

Despite the breadth of knowledge on self and identity formation across the study of organizations, the field of organizational development and change has limited research on the construction of professional identity. Much has been written to describe the “self-concepts” of those practicing and researching in the field, but there have been no investigations that have explored how these “self-concepts” form. In addition, although women have contributed to defining the “self” in the field, men have held the dominant perspective on the subject. Thus, in this chapter, we address a disparity in the research by exploring the construction of professional identity in the field of organizational development and change, and we give voice to the renowned women who helped to build the field. Using the profiles of 17 American women included in The Palgrave Handbook of Organizational Change Thinkers, we perform a narrative analysis based upon the concepts and models prevalent in the literature on identity formation. By disentangling professional identity formation of the notable women in the field, we can begin to see the nuance and particularities involved in its construction and gain deeper understandings about effective ways to prepare individuals to work in and advance the field.

Keywords

Citation

Szabla, D.B., Shaffer, E., Mouw, A. and Turks, A. (2020), "Constructing the Professional Identity of the Renowned American Women of Organizational Change: A Story of Their Lives", Noumair, D.A. and (Rami) Shani, A.B. (Ed.) Research in Organizational Change and Development (Research in Organizational Change and Development, Vol. 28), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 43-75. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0897-301620200000028002

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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