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Mediating ambiguity : narrative identity and knowledge workers.

Mallett, O. and Wapshott, R. (2012) 'Mediating ambiguity : narrative identity and knowledge workers.', Scandinavian journal of management., 28 (1). pp. 16-26.


Drawing on Paul Ricoeur's approach to narrative identity and a longitudinal case study of a graphic design firm, this paper explores identity work provoked by organisational changes for one group of knowledge workers, graphic designers. The approach to identity work developed in this paper illuminates how these knowledge workers use narrative to mediate between social and personal identities during a period of significant organisational change. The narrative identity approach, derived from Ricoeur, embraces the multiplicity, complexity and potential contradictions encountered by knowledge workers facing threats to their personal identity. In addition to developing Ricoeur's thinking to understand identity work in an organisational context, the impact of organisational change for knowledge workers is highlighted for practitioners.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Ricoeur, Knowledge work, Identity work, Narrative identity, Mediation, Ambiguity, Designers.
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Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Scandinavian journal of management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Scandinavian journal of management, 28, 1, 2012, 10.1016/j.scaman.2011.12.001
Record Created:31 Aug 2012 09:20
Last Modified:04 Sep 2012 09:49

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