ch 6 - Ch 6: Identity & Difference in Organizational...

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The History of Identity in Organizational Life Identity – how individuals position themselves in the world through language and action Classical management theories caused organizational members to create an identity almost entirely apart from work. Today, there is a trend toward authenticity (being real and honest in how we live/work with others) Identity can become stressful and confusing when you consider the number of roles we play (friend, parent, employee, citizen, spouse). We must have some core values – horizons of significance – to orient ourselves in this confusion Organizing Difference in Organizations Alvesson & Wilmott (2002) have specific practices that organizations use to create or influence members’ identities including: Defining the person directly according to their position Mid-level vs. senior-level managers Defining a person by their relationship to others Hospice workers referred to RN’s as paper-pushers Providing a specific vocab of motives A “successful” teacher is in it for the kids Explicating morals and values Using the idea of customer service to craft identity Knowledge and skills Having access to medical knowledge helps construct a doctor’s identity Group categorization and affiliation Students who are more involved with their university often have stronger alumni connections with their alma mater Hierarchial location Where you are in relation to your supervisors and subordinates Establishing and clarifying a distinct set of rules of the game What it means to act like a “team player” Defining the context Environment within which employees operate
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Feminist scholars are united by the assumption that socially constructed divisions between the public sphere of work and the private sphere of home have significant symbolic and material consequences for both men and women. Exclusion and control of women in the public sphere Denial of women’s domestic work as legitimate and valued labor Devaluation of feminized labor in the public sphere Teachers, nurses Reduction of men’s participation in domestic work and family life Construction of work/family conflicts as a private problem rather than a public issue One direct outgrowth of feminist research has been a focus on work/life conflict: the simultaneous influence of work on members’ lives away from work and the influence of
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ch 6 - Ch 6: Identity & Difference in Organizational...

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