critical perspective on management and organisations (How do…
critical perspective on management and organisations
How do organisations control employees’ professional identity?
Structure of work.
Taken together, the structure of work and the performance evaluation system creates a self fulfilling prophecy of professionals continuously adopting the ‘expected’ professional identity.
an ideal worker & professional identity
Employees who embrace this expectation is richly rewarded, especially those performing professional or managerial jobs
an ideal worker who is totally committed to and always available to fulfill his or her work duties
what is a professional identity?
Role identities comprise of goals, values, beliefs, norms, interaction styles, and time horizons associated with a given role.
Two main forms of professional identities:– Expected: employer expectations and beliefs, – Experienced: own expectations and beliefs
Organisations employing professionals (e.g. surgeons, consultants, lawyers, academics) expect their workers to conform to the ideal worker image
When a worker’s experienced professional identity
does not meet the ideal worker image (i.e. expected professional identity) conflict arises.
This expectation has lead to persisting gender inequality in the workplace
How do employees cope with conflicting professional identities?
Congruence vs. conflict
If an employee’s expected and experienced professional identities are in sync and congruent they are unlikely to experience conflict
Historically, researchers and practitioners focused on women (based on popular gender norms), especially those with young children as being the main cohort of professionals who would experience conflict, recent research indicates that conflict is not only restricted to them.
However, a large percentage of professionals experience conflict between the two identities
How do professionals cope with conflict?
Professionals cope with conflicting identities by ‘straying’ from the expected identity (i.e. ideal worker image)
They do so by either passing or revealing – Passing: intentional or accidental misrepresentation of membership in the favored group (i.e. expected professional identity)
– Revealing: intentional or accidental disclosure of non-membership in the favored group (i.e. expected professional identity)
Tools for straying
Personally altering the structure of work (i.e. passing) – Focusing on cultivating a local client base– Working on internal projects to reduce travel time – Working from home
Seeking assistance in restructuring work (i.e. revealing) – Applying for reduced workloads – Seeking parental and/or carer’s leave
Hiding or sharing personal information (i.e. passing and revealing)