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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2018

Anna Roberts and Charlene Zietsma

What happens to nonelite workers’ meaning, belonging, and identity when work is “on-demand”? On-demand organizations, such as Uber and TaskRabbit, have ambiguous…

Abstract

What happens to nonelite workers’ meaning, belonging, and identity when work is “on-demand”? On-demand organizations, such as Uber and TaskRabbit, have ambiguous boundaries and locations of workers. This qualitative study investigated how organizational and societal boundary discourse and the organization of the work itself, constructed sometimes conflicting worker roles that influenced how ride-hailing workers understood the boundaries of the on-demand organization and their location with respect to it. The roles of app–user and driver–partner constructed ride-hailing workers as outside the boundaries of the organization, while the driver–bot role constructed them as (nonhuman) elements of organizational technology. While the driver–partner role had positive and empowering identity, meaning, and belongingness associations, its conflict with the other roles blocked these positive associations, and led to cynicism and fatalism. We reflect on the possible impacts of the on-demand economy on society, workers, and the practice of work, particularly for nonelite workers.

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Toward Permeable Boundaries of Organizations?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-829-3

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2020

Anneleen Van Boxstael and Lien Denoo

We advance theory of how founder identity affects business model (BM) design during new venture creation and contribute to the cognitive perspective on BMs. We look at BM…

Abstract

We advance theory of how founder identity affects business model (BM) design during new venture creation and contribute to the cognitive perspective on BMs. We look at BM design as a longitudinal process involving a variety of cognitive work that is co-shaped by the founder identity work. Based on an in-depth nine-year process study of a single venture managed by three founders, we observed that a novelty-centered BM design resulted from cognitive work co-shaped by founder identity construction and verification processes. Yet, more remarkably, we noted that founder identity verification decreased over time and observed a process that we labeled “identity-business model decoupling.” It meant that the founders did not alter their founder identity but, over time, attentively grew self-aware and mindfully disengaged negative identity effects to design an effective BM. Our results provide a dynamic view on founder identity imprinting on ventures’ BMs and contribute to the identity, BM, and entrepreneurship literatures.

Book part
Publication date: 19 August 2016

Jennifer L. Nelson and Amanda E. Lewis

In this paper we build upon previous research that examines how workers in devalued occupations transform structural conditions that threaten their dignity into resources…

Abstract

In this paper we build upon previous research that examines how workers in devalued occupations transform structural conditions that threaten their dignity into resources with which to protect themselves. Through in-depth interviews and fieldwork with early childhood educators (ECE), we examine the work experiences of teachers in four distinct work contexts: daycare centers and within elementary schools, each in either the public or private sector. We find that these different school organizational contexts shape what kinds of identity challenges early childhood teachers experience. Different organizational contexts not only subject teachers to different threats to their work-related identity but also have different potential identity resources embedded within them that teachers can use on their own behalf. Thus, while all the early childhood educators in our sample struggle with being employed within a devalued occupation, the identity strategies they have developed to protect their self-worth vary across employment contexts. We show that the strategies these interactive service workers use to solve identity-related problems of dignity at work involve the creative conversion of constraints they face at work into resources that help them achieve valued work identities.

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Research in the Sociology of Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-405-1

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Book part
Publication date: 9 July 2010

John A.A. Sillince and Barbara Simpson

The paradigmatic separation of the strategy and identity literatures constitutes an ongoing problem for the extension of either into more global contexts. The theorization…

Abstract

The paradigmatic separation of the strategy and identity literatures constitutes an ongoing problem for the extension of either into more global contexts. The theorization proposed in this chapter presents rhetoric as the means by which the ‘strategy work’ of reimagining future options and the ‘identity work’ of reformulating the meaning of past actions may be integrated in the present moment. By locating both strategy work and identity work within the continuity of experience, we suggest that scholars will be better able to develop theoretically integrated, empirically grounded and globally relevant studies of strategy.

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The Globalization of Strategy Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-898-8

Book part
Publication date: 19 August 2016

Robin Leidner

Work has historically been an important basis of identity, but the sharp decline in the availability of stable attachments to jobs, organizations, or occupations…

Abstract

Work has historically been an important basis of identity, but the sharp decline in the availability of stable attachments to jobs, organizations, or occupations jeopardizes paid work’s capacity to sustain identity. If available work opportunities are increasingly precarious and short-term, can the same be said for identities? Analysis of the efforts of members of an unusual occupational group – stage actors – to support an identity based on unstable work provides insights into the variability and indeterminacy of responses to structural employment uncertainty. Despite manifold identity threats, actors struggle to maintain identity as actors both in others’ eyes and in their own.

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Research in the Sociology of Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-405-1

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Book part
Publication date: 17 September 2021

Alice Lam

The experience of “misfit” between individuals’ professional identities and their work roles or work contexts is common in career transitions. In contrast to extant…

Abstract

The experience of “misfit” between individuals’ professional identities and their work roles or work contexts is common in career transitions. In contrast to extant literature that focuses on the identity struggle of these people, this study examines how problematic identity dynamics associated with misfit motivate the shift toward the development of positive identities and induce creativity in meaning-making and change-oriented actions. It builds on the insights of Mead (1934) and Joas (1996) who view creativity as the most significant aspect of human agency, and the identity work literature that highlights the agentic process in identity construction. The study looks at a group of “pracademics” whose career trajectories deviate from the prototypical patterns in academia. It examines the identity work strategies that these people undertake to overcome misfit and shows how identity work liberates them from the limits of a particular identity, and facilitates new activities that alter aspects of their work contexts. The study advances our understanding of identity work as a creative human endeavor and sheds new light on the change-oriented agency of misfits.

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Organizing Creativity in the Innovation Journey
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-874-4

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Book part
Publication date: 17 September 2021

Heather Round

A creative identity, the incorporation of creativity into self-definition, is associated with creative outcomes. Given the importance of creativity to organizational…

Abstract

A creative identity, the incorporation of creativity into self-definition, is associated with creative outcomes. Given the importance of creativity to organizational success, understanding creative identity and in particular creative identity work (the formation and maintenance of creative identity) can be useful in understanding creatives within organizations. To be considered creative, individuals need to not only produce unique artefacts, but these artefacts need to be assessed by legitimate judges as being creative. Judges may be within an organization (e.g., senior researchers within a laboratory) or may be external to an organization (e.g., award judges in international advertising competitions). Underpinning creative identity work is the creative assessment, however this assessment is ambiguous and contextual. In other words, what is considered creative in one context or by one judge may not be considered creative in another context or by different judges. The ambiguity of the creative assessment makes creative identity work a precarious undertaking. Based on two case studies – a R&D laboratory and an advertising agency – this research explores the strategies which creative individuals employ in their creative identity work in response to the ambiguity of the creative assessment. This research contributes to the growing area of creative identity research by unpacking three specific strategies used as part of identity work of creatives: defending, emotional distancing and differentiating. These strategies assist the creatives in maintaining a coherent sense of who they are within the organizational context despite the unpredictability of the creative assessment.

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Organizing Creativity in the Innovation Journey
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-874-4

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Article
Publication date: 27 June 2022

Ana Burcharth, Pernille Smith and Lars Frederiksen

This paper investigates how a new entrepreneurial identity forms in conjunction with prior work-related identities during sponsored self-employment after an emotional job loss.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates how a new entrepreneurial identity forms in conjunction with prior work-related identities during sponsored self-employment after an emotional job loss.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors empirically examine why some dismissed employees failed and others succeeded in transitioning from a wage-earner career via corporate sponsorship to a career as an entrepreneur, investigating how those employees meaningfully constructed (or did not) an entrepreneurial identity.

Findings

The authors' findings show that the simultaneous preservation of central attributes of prior work-related identities and the engenderment of new entrepreneurial attributes support the formation of an entrepreneurial identity and that a liminal state, in which people practice entrepreneurship at work, may facilitate identity transition.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates that the initial entrepreneurial endeavor is based on prior work-related identity and identity congruence between prior work-related identities and a projected entrepreneurial identity is of great importance for the identity transition. However, the authors also show that incongruence may in some cases turn into congruence if entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to experiment with provisional entrepreneurial selves in a risk-free environment (so-called liminal states).

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2021

Madhumita Banerjee, Paurav Shukla and Nicholas J. Ashill

While the literature on migration highlights the reshaping of host and immigrant population in countries, there is a paucity of research in marketing investigating the…

Abstract

Purpose

While the literature on migration highlights the reshaping of host and immigrant population in countries, there is a paucity of research in marketing investigating the evolving dynamics for acculturation. The purpose of this study is to further the understanding of the emerging phenomenon of acculturation and identity negotiation.

Design/methodology/approach

Three experiments examined situational ethnicity, self-construal and identity negotiation in home and host culture work and social settings. Study 1 and Study 2 were conducted in the United Kingdom (UK), where the host country is the majority population. Study 3 was conducted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where the host country is the minority population. Study 4 utilized qualitative interviews in both countries.

Findings

Results from all four studies show that ethnic consumers deploy “indifference” as an identity negotiation mechanism when the host society is the majority population (UK) and when the host society has the minority population (UAE).

Originality/value

The authors offer new insights into identity negotiation by ethnic consumers when the host society is the majority population as well as the minority population. “Indifference”, i.e. preferring to neither fit in nor stand out as an identity negotiation mechanism, is deployed in work and social settings of home and host societies. The authors also advance the existing literature on acculturation by examining whether independent and interdependent self-construal influence identity negotiation.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2021

Gwen Kuan-Wen Chen, Carole Tansley and Robert Chang-Chih Chou

The purpose of this paper is to answer two research questions: How does a self-initiated migrant (SiM)'s talent identity work operate in relation to their culture, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to answer two research questions: How does a self-initiated migrant (SiM)'s talent identity work operate in relation to their culture, the societies in which they live, their interpersonal relationships and their tacit knowledge development? and how can global talent management be re-imagined in light of this?

Design/methodology/approach

This co-constructed autoethnography is produced from reflexive, dyadic interviews and text “conversations” with an SiM doing “global talent identity work” and uses narrative analysis to investigate how liminal competence is developed across the life cycle.

Findings

This study shows how talent identity work is rooted in the lived, meaningful experiences of individual talent, from childhood to adult life in a pandemic. The authors add to knowledge about COVID-19 experiences of SiMs, uncover poignant examples of the role of migrant ethnic and knowledge discrimination and identify lessons for managerial practice in engendering liminality competence by combining global talent management and knowledge management.

Practical implications

Lessons are drawn for global talent management strategies that appreciate and support individual talent ethnic and knowledge inclusion of underappreciated migrant talent.

Originality/value

Examining the connection between talent identity work and liminality competence, the authors show how an individual's talent might be wasted through different forms of discrimination and highlight how ethnic discrimination during a pandemic points the way to positive changes in talent knowledge management initiatives. This study suggests ways in which ethnic and knowledge discrimination might be addressed through talent management strategies.

Details

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2051-6614

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