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Article

Elisabeth Kelan and Rachel Dunkley Jones

This paper aims to explore whether the rite of passage is still a useful model with which to conceptualise the MBA in the era of the boundaryless career.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore whether the rite of passage is still a useful model with which to conceptualise the MBA in the era of the boundaryless career.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the formative experiences of full‐time MBA students at an elite business school, using in‐depth qualitative interviews. Through a discourse analysis, the paper shows how MBA students draw on concepts resembling the anthropological model of the rite of passage when making sense of their experience.

Findings

The resources MBA students have available to talk about their MBA experience mirror the three‐step rite of passage model. The first step involves separation from a previous career, either because of limited opportunities for advancement or in order to explore alternative career paths. In the transition or liminoid stage, identities are in flux and a strong sense of community is developed among the students and they play with different identities. In the third stage, the incorporation, students reflect on the value of the MBA for their future career.

Originality/value

The paper shows how the MBA is still seen as a rite of passage at a time when careers are becoming boundaryless. Within this more fluid context, the rite in itself is seen as enhancing the individual's brand value and confidence, enabling them to negotiate the challenges of managing a boundaryless career.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article

Wolfgang Mayrhofer and Alexandre Iellatchitch

Modern careers have become increasingly non‐predictable, characterized by many occupational changes and transitions. Given this background, this paper analyses the…

Abstract

Purpose

Modern careers have become increasingly non‐predictable, characterized by many occupational changes and transitions. Given this background, this paper analyses the potential contributions of the anthropological concept of rites of passage in scientific as well as practical terms. It is argued that, while this concept is not a fully developed theory, it qualifies as a useful model for specific aspects of career transitions.

Design/methodology/approach

After a general introduction of the concept of rites of passage, the paper examines how it has already been applied to career research, and proposes some fresh developments in order to interpret the role of transitions in modern careers.

Findings

Although the concept of rites de passage has mostly been applied to very traditional career paths, this paper argues for its validity for modern careers. In particular, the emphasis on a particular rite de passage, namely the rite de marge, allows one to focus on the non‐stability of careers today and its consequences for individuals.

Practical implications

Even if the effects of their application are neither mechanical nor calculable, nevertheless rites de passage present interesting possibilities for management purposes.

Originality/value

Introducing the concept of rites de passage shows that modern careers especially, because of their lack of stability, need transitional rites for occupational identity and the entering of new groups. To be aware of this is of great relevance for individuals and for career management.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Book part

Orla Byrne

Business failure is often described as a Rites of Passage for entrepreneurs. But what does this actually mean? This chapter returns to the original Rites of Passage

Abstract

Business failure is often described as a Rites of Passage for entrepreneurs. But what does this actually mean? This chapter returns to the original Rites of Passage material, from cultural ethnographers in the early twentieth century. By doing so, the author re-conceptualizes contemporary business failure as the Rites of Business Failure comprising a three-stage transitional process of separation, transition, and incorporation, which has a more socialized and a better understood role in society. Taking a sensemaking perspective, the author portrays the need for greater support for entrepreneurs as they experience business failure and re-establish their life. The author proposes many of the challenges entrepreneurs face over the Rites of Business Failure can be addressed through tailor-made training programs, networks, mentors, and role models which can all be utilized to assist people after the setback of business failure. Theoretically, the chapter contributes to literature on sensemaking and business failure. Practically, it holds implications for policy makers and practicing entrepreneurs.

Details

Work Life After Failure?: How Employees Bounce Back, Learn, and Recover from Work-Related Setbacks
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-519-6

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Article

Yochanan Altman and Len Holmes

Mayrhofer and Iellatchitch's discussion of rites of passage in the context of contemporary careers raises some concerns as to the usefulness of the concept as well as to…

Abstract

Purpose

Mayrhofer and Iellatchitch's discussion of rites of passage in the context of contemporary careers raises some concerns as to the usefulness of the concept as well as to its transferability across disciplines. This rejoinder maintains that, while the employment of rites of passage should be welcomed, its use in career discourse should be made with caution and reserve.

Design/methodology/approach

Asks searching questions in pursuit of the above.

Findings

That some controversial points are raised in Mayrhofer and Iellatchitch's article.

Originality/value

This presents the other side of the subject of the original article.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Book part

Jenna Drenten

This chapter explores the symbolic connections between coming of age liminality and identity-oriented consumption practices in postmodern American culture, specifically…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter explores the symbolic connections between coming of age liminality and identity-oriented consumption practices in postmodern American culture, specifically among adolescent girls.

Methodology/approach

Forty-two female participants (ages 20–23) participants were asked to answer the general question of “Who am I?” through creating identity collages and writing accompanying narrative summaries for each of three discrete life stages: early adolescence (past-self), late adolescence (present-self), and adulthood (future-self). Data were analyzed using a hermeneutical approach.

Findings

Coming of age in postmodern American consumer culture involves negotiating paradoxical identity tensions through consumption-oriented benchmarks, termed “market-mediated milestones.” Market-mediated milestones represent achievable criteria by which adolescents solidify their uncertain liminal self-concepts.

Research implications

In contrast to the traditional Van Gennepian conceptualization of rites of passage, market-mediated milestones do not necessarily mark a major transition from one social status to another, nor do they follow clearly defined stages. Market-mediated milestones help adolescents navigate liminality through an organic, nonlinear, and incremental coming of age process.

Practical implications

Rather than traditional cultural institutions (e.g., church, family), the marketplace is becoming the central cultural institution around which adolescent coming of age identity is constructed. As such, organizations have the power to create market-mediated milestones for young people. In doing so, organizations should be mindful of adolescent well-being.

Originality/value

This research marks a turning point in understanding traditional rites of passage in light of postmodern degradation of cultural institutions. The institutions upon which traditional rites of passage are based have changed; therefore, our conceptions of what rites of passage are today should change as well.

Details

Consumer Culture Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-811-2

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Article

Lorraine Hale and Robert J. Starratt

This case study was stimulated by involvement in ateacher‐internship programme in which the induction of beginningteachers into the profession was very inadequately…

Abstract

This case study was stimulated by involvement in a teacher‐internship programme in which the induction of beginning teachers into the profession was very inadequately guided. Their easy acceptance of simplistic approaches to teaching, with minimal accountability for results led the researchers to an appraisal of the process of teacher preparation from the vantage point of cultural induction, known to anthropologists as rites of passage. The study concluded that the inadequacies as well as the possibilities for improving teacher induction were highlighted by such a frame of reference.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Book part

James Burnett, Alvin Killough and Eryn Killough

To share a curriculum that can lead to successful re-entry for those transitioning from prison to freedom.

Abstract

Purpose

To share a curriculum that can lead to successful re-entry for those transitioning from prison to freedom.

Methodology/approach

We support our argument with data drawn from the intersection of a case study, auto-ethnography and heuristic research.

Findings

Convicts, particularly African Americans and other ethnic minorities who are incarcerated experience initiatory rites of passage as enabling mechanisms when facing re-entry to society. These rites can lead to one of two results. One is positive, undergirded by the necessary internal changes of psychological desires to become a productive member in society and supported by complementary external social networks. The other is negative, driven by on-going states of anomie, supported by counterproductive engagements in activities that lead to maladaptive states in terms of qualities of life. Our research findings lead to multiple conclusions and combine to converge in support of a more productive re-entry process. In this chapter, we present three themes critically embedded within The Sacred Space Rite of Passage Transition to Freedom Curriculum that can be used to enhance the prospects for re-entry to society. (1) Value to self and others can be appropriated, if reconceptualized through the personal journey-to-success re-entry model, as seen by a once incarcerated African American drug offender, now turned university professor. (2) Value to community can potentially be greatly enhanced, when major dimensions of this journey are structurally used to inform the application of programmatic activities, particularly when undergirding the passage of others. (3) Value to society must be re-visited, conceptually if not paradigmatically, within an interdisciplinary framework that seriously includes the critical voice of the prior incarcerated.

Originality/value

The Sacred Space Rite of Passage Transition to Freedom Curriculum is the result of life lessons learned through pre-incarceration, incarceration, and postincarceration in the criminal justice system in America. These important life lessons experienced and learned are the foundation for the journey of re-integration and re-entry to family and community, from prisoner to professor.

Details

Race, Ethnicity and Law
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-604-4

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Article

Lisa Marie Borrelli

This article contributes the following: First, it argues along previous works that rites of passage include continuous testing, which needs to be passed in order to gain a…

Abstract

Purpose

This article contributes the following: First, it argues along previous works that rites of passage include continuous testing, which needs to be passed in order to gain a certain level of acceptance within the research field. Here besides the emotional effort, researchers have to position themselves and are confronted with questions of trust. Second, it is argued that the collected and analysed data on the rites of passage enable us to make sense of street-level bureaucrats' work and functioning of state institutions, especially in a police context. Reflections on research negotiations drew the author's attention to how mistrust towards the “other”, here defined as migrant other, prevails the migration regime. This mistrust is later transferred onto the researcher, whose stay is deemed questionable and eventually intrusive.

Design/methodology/approach

The collected data include semi-structured interviews, as well as several months of participant observation with street-level officers and superordinate staff, deepening previous discussions on research access and entrance. It further allows understanding street-level narratives, especially when it comes to the culture of suspicion embedded in police work, connecting the experienced tests with the everyday knowledge of police officers and case workers.

Findings

The analysis of rites of passage enable us to make sense of street-level bureaucrats' work, especially in a police context, since we find a specific way of suspicion directed towards the researcher. It is based on a general mistrust towards the “other”, here defined as migrant other, whose stay is deemed illegal and thus intruding. In this context, the positionality of the researcher becomes crucial and needs strategical planning.

Research limitations/implications

Accessing and being able to enter the “field” is of crucial relevance to researchers, interested in studying, e.g. sense-making and decision-making of the respective interlocutors. Yet, ethnographic accounts often disclose only partially, which hurdles, limiting or contesting their aspirations to conduct fieldwork, were encountered.

Originality/value

The personal role of researchers, their background and emotions are often neglected when describing ethnographic research. Struggles and what these can say about the studied field are thus left behind, although they contribute to a richer understanding of the functioning of the chosen fields. This work will examine how passing the test and going through rituals of “becoming a member” can tell us more about the functioning of a government agency, here a Swedish border police unit.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

Keywords

Content available
Article

Maximiliano E. Korstanje

This paper aims to revolve around two problems which, though imagined as different, can be addressed altogether. On one hand, the advance of terrorism as a major threat to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to revolve around two problems which, though imagined as different, can be addressed altogether. On one hand, the advance of terrorism as a major threat to the tourism industry, while – on the other – we discuss the ontological nature of tourism as a rite of passage, which is vital to keep the political legitimacy of officialdom. At the time, paradoxically, social scientists shrug off tourism as a naïve commercial activity, while the main tourist destinations are being attacked by jihadism. This suggests the disinterest of ones associates to the interests of others.

Design/methodology/approach

The author holds the thesis that tourism derives from ancient institutions, which illuminated in the growth of Occident and the formation of hospitality. Capitalism hides the importance of tourism as a mere trivialization as a bit-player. However, a closer look reminds precisely the opposite. The recent attacks perpetrated at main destinations reveal tourism as an exemplary (symbolic) center of the West, a source of authority and power for the existing hierarchal order.

Findings

The issue captivates the attention of scholars, officials and policymakers, and at the same time, epistemologists of tourism receive a fresh novel debate regarding the origins of tourism.

Originality/value

It is a great paradox that tourism would be selected as a target for jihadism but at the same time a naïve activity for social scientists or at the least by the French tradition. Despite the partisan criticism exerted on tourism as an alienatory force, this work showed two important aspects, which merits to be discussed. At a closer look, tourism should be understood as “a rite of passage” whose function associates to the revitalization of those glitches happened during the cycles of production. Second, and most important, tourism accommodates those frustrations to prevent acts of separatism or the rise of extreme conflict among classes.

Details

Journal of Tourism Analysis: Revista de Análisis Turístico, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2254-0644

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Article

Carole Tansley, Ella Hafermalz and Kristine Dery

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the use of sophisticated talent selection processes such as gamification and training and development…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the use of sophisticated talent selection processes such as gamification and training and development interventions designed to ensure that candidates can successfully navigate the talent assessment process. Gamification is the application of game elements to non-game activities through the adoption of gaming tools, and little is known about how candidates (“talent”) struggle to learn about the structural mechanics of gamification as they engage with the hidden rules of talent selection, such as goals, rules, “levelling up”, feedback and engagement in competitive – collaborative activities. The term “talent development gamification” is coined and used as an analytical tool to consider how young talent are supported by development interventions in their inter-subjectivity as they learn how to survive and win in talent selection games.

Design/methodology/approach

Studying hidden dynamics in development processes inherent in gamified talent selection is challenging, so a cult work of fiction, “Ender’s Game”, is examined to address the questions: “How do candidates in talent selection programmes learn to make sense of the structural mechanics of gamification”, “How does this make the hidden rules of talent selection explicit to them?” and “What does this mean for talent development?”

Findings

Talent development in selection gamification processes is illustrated through nuanced theoretical accounts of how a multiplicity of shifting and competing developmental learning opportunities are played out as a form of “double-consciousness” by potential organizational talent for them to “win the selection game”.

Research limitations/implications

Using novels as an aid to understanding management and the organization of work is ontologically and epistemologically problematic. But analysing novels which are “good reads” also has educational value and can produce new knowledge from its analysis. In exploring how “Characters are made to live dangerously, to face predicaments that, as readers, we experience as vicarious pleasure. We imagine, for example, how a particular character may react or, more importantly, what we would do in similar circumstances” (Knights and Willmott, 1999, p. 5). This future-oriented fictional narrative is both illustrative and provides an analogy to illuminate current organisational development challenges.

Originality/value

The term “talent development gamification in selection processes” is coined to allow analysis and provide lessons for talent development practice in a little studied area. Our case study analysis identifies a number of areas for consideration by talent management/talent development specialists involved in developing talent assessment centres incorporating gamification. These include the importance of understanding and taking account of rites of passage through the assessment centre, in particular the role of liminal space, what talent development interventions might be of benefit and the necessity of appreciating and managing talent in developing the skill of double consciousness in game simulations.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 40 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

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