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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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2051-6614

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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.

Details

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.

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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.

Details

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

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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.

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

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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.

Details

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

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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.

Details

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.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2020

Sally Smith, Thomas N. Garavan, Anne Munro, Elaine Ramsey, Colin F. Smith and Alison Varey

The purpose of this study is to explore the role of professional and leader identity and the maintenance of identity, through identity work as IT professionals…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the role of professional and leader identity and the maintenance of identity, through identity work as IT professionals transitioned to a permanent hybrid role. This study therefore contributes to the under-researched area of permanent transition to a hybrid role in the context of IT, where there is a requirement to enact both the professional and leader roles together.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilised a longitudinal design and two qualitative methods (interviews and reflective diaries) to gather data from 17 IT professionals transitioning to hybrid roles.

Findings

The study findings reveal that IT professionals engage in an ongoing process of reconciliation of professional and leader identity as they transition to a permanent hybrid role, and they construct hybrid professional–leader identities while continuing to value their professional identity. They experience professional–leader identity conflict resulting from reluctance to reconcile both professional and leader identities. They used both integration and differentiation identity work tactics to ameliorate these tensions.

Originality/value

The longitudinal study design, the qualitative approaches used and the unique context of the participants provide a dynamic and deep understanding of the challenges involved in performing hybrid roles in the context of IT.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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