Keywords: identity work, emotions, self-identity, social interactions, management, organisational studies
In the past 16 years identity work has become an established topic within management and organisation studies. Identity work is when a person needs to establish, maintain or alter their identity in order to carry out their work and includes situations where one’s identity is threatened or when the individual is required to take on a new identity to conduct their work. In short, identity work refers to any situation identity needs to be modified in order to be accepted, listened to and engaged with.
Identity work requires continual engagement in the forming and reforming of a coherent and distinct identity and continual thought about how to relate to others. It is an on-going sense-making process to develop a meaningful relationship between a person’s self-identity and their social-identity. This can be both conscious and unconscious.
This research briefing will be useful for anyone involved in management, organisational development or interesting in the role of emotions in the development of identity.
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