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'Be my Own Boss?' An Interpretative Examination of Identity Work from Employment to Self-employment

Gould, Sarah LU and Sarvioskouey, Elnaz (2012) BUSN49 20121
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
This interpretive study examines identity work in a transition period which was triggered by a downsizing event. The purpose of this thesis is to gain further understanding of how identity work is done in the transition from employment to becoming self-employed. A hermeneutical approach was adopted and data-gathering was carried out using semi-structured interviews which allowed us to gain insights into processes of identity (re)construction. From the empirical material, we derived four ideal types which represent our participants’ underlying perception s of the identity concept. These, in turn, influence identity work which is carried out to obtain a coherent and distinctive self. We find that neither organisational identity nor societal... (More)
This interpretive study examines identity work in a transition period which was triggered by a downsizing event. The purpose of this thesis is to gain further understanding of how identity work is done in the transition from employment to becoming self-employed. A hermeneutical approach was adopted and data-gathering was carried out using semi-structured interviews which allowed us to gain insights into processes of identity (re)construction. From the empirical material, we derived four ideal types which represent our participants’ underlying perception s of the identity concept. These, in turn, influence identity work which is carried out to obtain a coherent and distinctive self. We find that neither organisational identity nor societal and organisational discourses necessarily dominate identity work as people consider new occupations after a downsizing event. In our study, individuals are able to personalise the dominant societal entrepreneurial discourse in order to reconstruct themselves as modified versions of entrepreneurs through self-employment. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Gould, Sarah LU and Sarvioskouey, Elnaz
supervisor
organization
course
BUSN49 20121
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Identity Work, Discourse, Downsizing, Knowledge Workers.
language
English
id
2798193
date added to LUP
2012-07-02 12:15:59
date last changed
2012-07-02 12:15:59
@misc{2798193,
  abstract     = {This interpretive study examines identity work in a transition period which was triggered by a downsizing event. The purpose of this thesis is to gain further understanding of how identity work is done in the transition from employment to becoming self-employed. A hermeneutical approach was adopted and data-gathering was carried out using semi-structured interviews which allowed us to gain insights into processes of identity (re)construction. From the empirical material, we derived four ideal types which represent our participants’ underlying perception s of the identity concept. These, in turn, influence identity work which is carried out to obtain a coherent and distinctive self. We find that neither organisational identity nor societal and organisational discourses necessarily dominate identity work as people consider new occupations after a downsizing event. In our study, individuals are able to personalise the dominant societal entrepreneurial discourse in order to reconstruct themselves as modified versions of entrepreneurs through self-employment.},
  author       = {Gould, Sarah and Sarvioskouey, Elnaz},
  keyword      = {Identity Work,Discourse,Downsizing,Knowledge Workers.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {'Be my Own Boss?' An Interpretative Examination of Identity Work from Employment to Self-employment},
  year         = {2012},
}