What do managers know? Wisdom and manager identity in later career

Warhurst, Russell and Black, Kate (2016) What do managers know? Wisdom and manager identity in later career. Management Learning. ISSN 1350-5076 (In Press)

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1177/1350507616679346

Abstract

In this article we focus on the knowing of experienced middle managers in later career and make a two-fold contribution to management learning research. Firstly, we critically examine the construct of wisdom as a way of deepening understanding of such managers’ knowing and we respond calls to provide empirical evidence of the manifestations of wisdom in contemporary management practice. Secondly, we assess the managers’ engagement with wisdom as a resource for identity-work. Management is increasingly conceptualised as an identity project and we examine how managers deployed wisdom as a discursive identity resource. We show how wisdom was used to counter currently favoured normative narratives of evidence based management and the associated subject position of the omniscient and rational, but never quite adequate, manager. We reveal how narratives of wisdom were drawn upon in constructing distinctive, valued and preferred managerial subjectivities sustainable in later career. Finally, we propose implications for management learning and manager education.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wisdom, Identity, Identity-work, Older managers
Subjects: N200 Management studies
N600 Human Resource Management
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School > Business and Management
Depositing User: Kate Black
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2016 15:46
Last Modified: 31 May 2017 13:27
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/28593

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