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Identity Construction of Young Professionals in a Late Modern Emotion-Intensive Context: Multiple Faces of Family Discourse in a Big Four Auditing Firm

Mansur, Pinar and Thorsuwan, Siriwan (2008)
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to study the adaptation of recently recruited young professionals to a top consulting firm through their identity construction efforts. We analyze the influence of a major organization-related discourse on young professionals in order to account for the effects of emotional labor on their adaptation to work. Methodology: We have studied our empirical material in the light of a reflexive pragmatic approach. Thus throughout the analysis of interview material, we try to interpret carefully the material from various perspectives. As authors, we also reflect critically upon our own interpretations. We believe that studying empirical material in reflexive pragmatic manner checks, to a certain extent, the... (More)
Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to study the adaptation of recently recruited young professionals to a top consulting firm through their identity construction efforts. We analyze the influence of a major organization-related discourse on young professionals in order to account for the effects of emotional labor on their adaptation to work. Methodology: We have studied our empirical material in the light of a reflexive pragmatic approach. Thus throughout the analysis of interview material, we try to interpret carefully the material from various perspectives. As authors, we also reflect critically upon our own interpretations. We believe that studying empirical material in reflexive pragmatic manner checks, to a certain extent, the effect of language, vocabulary, power and culture embedded in the empirical material. Theoretical perspectives: Our theoretical framework consists of four main pillars. We refer to late modernity and reflexive modernization theories when we study the context of knowledge-intensive firms. In order to sharpen our focus on knowledge-intensive work, we use theories on emotional labor, esthetic labor and psychological contract. Constructionist identity theories with an emphasis on discourses provide us with our main analytical leverage. Theories on micro-emancipation and discursive resistance practices enrich our analysis with critical points. Empirical foundation: Empirical material is generated through a qualitative technique, interviews, where open-ended questions are directed to one interviewee at a time by two interviewers. Our sample consists of seven young professionals in a Swedish branch of a Big Four accountancy firm. Conclusions: Keeping our purpose in mind, we arrive at two major conclusions. First, we observe that emotional and esthetic labor are significant practices for knowledge-intensive service sectors, such as accountancy firms. Even though they enhance motivation and productivity, these kinds of labor lead to specific forms of exploitation. Second, we point out that family discourse facilitates adaptation of young professionals to their work contexts. We argue that this discourse has influences on non-work spheres of life as well. (Less)
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author
Mansur, Pinar and Thorsuwan, Siriwan
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
identity construction, emotional labor, psychological contract, work-life balance, knowledge-intensive work, Management of enterprises, Företagsledning, management
language
Swedish
id
1347169
date added to LUP
2008-06-02
date last changed
2012-04-02 17:01:11
@misc{1347169,
  abstract     = {Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to study the adaptation of recently recruited young professionals to a top consulting firm through their identity construction efforts. We analyze the influence of a major organization-related discourse on young professionals in order to account for the effects of emotional labor on their adaptation to work. Methodology: We have studied our empirical material in the light of a reflexive pragmatic approach. Thus throughout the analysis of interview material, we try to interpret carefully the material from various perspectives. As authors, we also reflect critically upon our own interpretations. We believe that studying empirical material in reflexive pragmatic manner checks, to a certain extent, the effect of language, vocabulary, power and culture embedded in the empirical material. Theoretical perspectives: Our theoretical framework consists of four main pillars. We refer to late modernity and reflexive modernization theories when we study the context of knowledge-intensive firms. In order to sharpen our focus on knowledge-intensive work, we use theories on emotional labor, esthetic labor and psychological contract. Constructionist identity theories with an emphasis on discourses provide us with our main analytical leverage. Theories on micro-emancipation and discursive resistance practices enrich our analysis with critical points. Empirical foundation: Empirical material is generated through a qualitative technique, interviews, where open-ended questions are directed to one interviewee at a time by two interviewers. Our sample consists of seven young professionals in a Swedish branch of a Big Four accountancy firm. Conclusions: Keeping our purpose in mind, we arrive at two major conclusions. First, we observe that emotional and esthetic labor are significant practices for knowledge-intensive service sectors, such as accountancy firms. Even though they enhance motivation and productivity, these kinds of labor lead to specific forms of exploitation. Second, we point out that family discourse facilitates adaptation of young professionals to their work contexts. We argue that this discourse has influences on non-work spheres of life as well.},
  author       = {Mansur, Pinar and Thorsuwan, Siriwan},
  keyword      = {identity construction,emotional labor,psychological contract,work-life balance,knowledge-intensive work,Management of enterprises,Företagsledning, management},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Identity Construction of Young Professionals in a Late Modern Emotion-Intensive Context: Multiple Faces of Family Discourse in a Big Four Auditing Firm},
  year         = {2008},
}