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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2021

Julia Mühlhaus, Onno Bouwmeester and Svetlana N. Khapova

This study seeks to explore the key themes in identity play during unemployment and the potential obstacles faced by unemployed individuals.

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Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to explore the key themes in identity play during unemployment and the potential obstacles faced by unemployed individuals.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study is based on 23 interviews with unemployed individuals in Germany.

Findings

The authors identify three obstacles to identity play during unemployment: a lack of psychological safety to explore possible selves, a lack of opportunity to try out possible selves and a lack of social validation for possible selves. Several interviewees highlight the impact of social context, creating an absence of institutional support and a limited identity “playspace.” As such, the authors illustrate that when faced with these obstacles, the unemployed individuals of this study predominantly focus on identity work instead of identity play. Only a few interviewees seem to engage in and sustain identity play. The authors propose that the elaborate nature of their possible selves and their focus on future opportunities may overshadow the present self and immediate obstacles.

Originality/value

The authors argue that identity play is not readily available to all individuals in all situations. Instead, they suggest that some psychologically and socially threatening contexts such as unemployment are characterized by obstacles that constrain individuals' identity play and prevent the adoption of new work identities. Hence, the authors call for a more balanced and localized understanding of identity play.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Onno Bouwmeester and Jelmer Stiekema

The purpose of this paper is to explore the paradoxical image of consultants as “experts without expertise.” It examines the extent to which different stakeholders’ perceptions of…

1489

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the paradoxical image of consultants as “experts without expertise.” It examines the extent to which different stakeholders’ perceptions of consultants’ expertise are aligned, and why.

Design/methodology/approach

This research applies a creative approach to survey methodology by asking different stakeholder groups to react to consultancy expertise cartoons. This is followed by a rhetorical interpretation of the perceptions of consultants’ expertise using pathos.

Findings

This survey revealed that employees are the most critical of consultants, while clients and consultants retain positive impressions of consultants’ expertise. Unexpectedly, relative to other stakeholder groups, academics occupy a moderately critical position like outsiders. Given that consultants and clients value the same indicators of expertise, this explains the latter stakeholder group’s positive valuation.

Research limitations/implications

Since this study focusses on the expert image of consultants more generally, the authors cannot differentiate the conclusions for perceptions related to different types of consultants based on discipline or the image of their specific role (e.g. expert vs coach or change agent).

Practical implications

Consultants and academics need pathos that is stakeholder dependent, for getting their expertise better accepted.

Originality/value

This paper helps explain why managers, despite the many criticisms of the services consultants provide, continue to hire consultants for their expertise. Furthermore, it sheds light into why managers prefer the services of consultants vs those provided by academics. It also nuances the assumption that academics are the main critics of consultants. Instead, this paper identifies that the majority of consultant critiques come from employees in client organizations.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 53 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 July 2011

Onno Bouwmeester and Ruben van Werven

The purpose of this paper is to explore how legitimizers invest in their approach to meet the suspicion of being a one‐sided advocate.

1841

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how legitimizers invest in their approach to meet the suspicion of being a one‐sided advocate.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple case study of four public sector decisions, based on a comparative argumentation analysis of two consulting reports in each case, one written by a legitimizer and one by a devil's advocate. The findings of the document analysis are triangulated with author interviews.

Findings

Consultants acting as legitimizers are often suspected of being political allies of a decision maker. To neutralize their reputation as hired guns, these consultants invest in being seen as impartial by making their research approaches transparent and their argumentation balanced to increase their credibility in the eyes of stakeholders, which is necessary to execute their central task: legitimizing a major decision.

Research limitations/implications

The number of four cases could limit the possible variation within the legitimizer role. Further research could therefore explore under what conditions consultants are willing to argue more one‐sidedly as “advocates”.

Practical implications

Practitioners, such as consultants or decision makers, can apply the approach used in this research to make their method more transparent and to balance their argumentation to get commitment from stakeholders, while legitimizing a decision.

Originality/value

The paper nuances the view on the legitimizer role of consultants in previous studies, by exploring how their arguments are more balanced and transparent than assumed and how they try to contribute to their clients' decision‐making process.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

David M. Boje and David Perez

Professor Slawomir Magala is a full professor of Cross-Management at the Department of Organization and Personnel Management in Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus…

Abstract

Purpose

Professor Slawomir Magala is a full professor of Cross-Management at the Department of Organization and Personnel Management in Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University (RSM, 2015). His education stems from Poland, Germany and the USA, and has taught and conducted research in China, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Estonia, the United Kingdom and Namibia. He is a former Chair for Cross-Cultural Management at RSM and has achieved many things, from being editor-in-chief of the Journal of Organizational Change Management (JOCM), to receiving the Erasmus Research Institute in Management (ERIM) Book Award (2010), for The Management of Meaning in Organizations (Routledge, 2009). It has received honors for being the best book in one of the domains of management research. It was selected by an academic committee, consisting of the Scientific Directors of CentER (Tilburg University), METEOR (University of Maastricht) and SOM (University of Groningen). All these research schools are accredited by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a review of Professor Slawomir Magala’s contributions as editor of Journal of Organizational Change Management.

Findings

Slawomir (Slawek) Magala will be known for many contributions to social, organizational, managerial research, and it will be remembered that he has created a great legacy in the field of cross-cultural competence and communication on processes of sense making in professional bureaucracies. He has authored and co-authored many publications including articles, books, professional publications, book contributions and other outputs, and is an established professor of cross-cultural management at the Department of Organization and Personnel Management in RSM, Erasmus University. He will be known for his work as editor of Qualitative Sociology Review, and one of the founding members of the Association for Cross-Cultural Competence in Management, not to mention the Journal of Organizational Change Management. Many of his articles have appeared regularly in leading refereed journals, such as the European Journal of International Management, Public Policy, Critical Perspectives on International Business and Human Resources Development International. His greatest legacy is in the field of cross-cultural management, but branches out to many other management studies.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to his work in capacity of editor of Journal of Organizational Change Management.

Practical implications

This review provides a guide for positive role model of an excellent editorship of a journal.

Social implications

Magala’s legacy acknowledges this research and its power to create numerous papers and attract a lot of attention (Flory and Magala, 2014). Because of these conferences, these empirical findings have led to disseminating the conference findings with JOCM (Flory and Magala, 2014). According to them, narrative research has become a respectable research method, but they also feel that it is still burdened with a lot of controversies on with difficulties linked to applying it across different disciplines (Flory and Magala, 2014).

Originality/value

The review covers the creative accomplishment of Professor Magala as editor.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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