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Responding to imposed job redesign: the evolving dynamics of work and identity in restructuring professional identity

Chen, Y. ORCID: 0000-0003-2549-8880 and Reay, T. (2020). Responding to imposed job redesign: the evolving dynamics of work and identity in restructuring professional identity. Human Relations, doi: doi.org/10.1177/0018726720906437

Abstract

How do professionals respond when they are required to conduct work that does not match with their identity? We investigated this situation in an English public services organisation where a major work redesign initiative required professionals to engage in new tasks that they did not want to do. Based on our findings, we develop a process model of professional identity restructuring that includes the following four stages: (1) resisting identity change and mourning loss of previous work, (2) conserving professional identity and avoiding the new work, (3) parking professional identity and learning the new work, and (4) retrieving and modifying professional identity and affirming the new work. Our model explicates the dynamics between professional work and professional identity, showing how requirements for new professional work can lead to a new professional identity. We also contribute to the literature by showing how parking one’s professional identity facilitates the creation of liminal space that allows professional identity restructuring.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Authors. This is article has been accepted for publication by SAGE in Human Relations.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Business School > Management
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2020 13:59
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/23586
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