Strategy and struggle: discourses of learning, change and influence in later-career middle-managers’ identity-work

Warhurst, Russell and Black, Kate (2015) Strategy and struggle: discourses of learning, change and influence in later-career middle-managers’ identity-work. In: British Academy of Management Annual Conference (BAM 2015), 8 - 10 September 2015, Portsmouth. (Submitted)

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Abstract

The workforce in many countries is ageing and there is considerable interest in extending working lives. However, age remains a significant area of inequality and detriment in organisations. This paper examines the experiences of later-career working of a diverse group of middle-managers through the lens of identity. The paper critically reviews contrasting approaches to theorising identity. An understanding of identity-work, or identity construction, through discourse and narrative is developed. A qualitative empirical study of a sample of later-career middle-managers was undertaken using visual-elicitation interviewing. Findings are presented from an inductive analysis of four managers’ accounts. Identity tensions between decline and progress are revealed and examined. Tactics deployed in resolving these tensions and in constructing a positive sense of later-career self are then considered. Theoretical conclusions are drawn which refine conceptualisations of identity-work and show that while identities are to some extent constrained they cannot be understood as contained.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: N200 Management studies
N600 Human Resource Management
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School > Business and Management
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Kate Black
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2015 10:17
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2015 10:17
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/24415

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