CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON MANAGEMENT AND ORGANISATIONS (Ideal worker…
CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON MANAGEMENT AND ORGANISATIONS
employees today are expected to prioritise work ahead of family, personal needs, and even health
an ‘ideal worker’ is one who is totally committed to and always available to fulfil his or her work duties
Employees who embrace this expectation is richly rewarded, especially those performing professional or managerial jobs
Organizational mechanisms of identity control
The successful performance of the professional role has been contingent upon always prioritizing work demands over all other aspects of life. There is a reinforcing of this structure by rewarding those who fulfill the expected identity requirements.
Spillover of perceptions across audiences
Efforts to pass or reveal to one audience
(e.g. high-status) can spillover and influence
the perceptions held of the professional by
other audiences (e.g. same- or low-level)
Passing to high-status audiences tends to
facilitate passing to equal- or low-status
Revealing to close colleagues often results in
informal re-structuring of work which enables
one to pass to wider high-status audiences
Revealing to high-status audiences often
results in revealing to broader audiences
across the organisation
How do employees cope with conflicting professional identities?
If employees expected and experienced identities are in sync there is no conflict. A large amount of professionals experience a conflict between the two identities. Historically, researches and practitioners focus on women as they more often have conflicts in their identities as they normally do more than men at home.
Two main forms
Expected: employer expectations and beliefs
Experienced: own expectations and beliefs
Conflict arises when a workers experienced professional identity does not meet the ideal worker image
Congruence vs. conflict
If an employee’s expected and experienced professional identities are in sync and congruent they are unlikely to experience conflict
a large percentage of professional’s experience conflict between the two identities
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
Tools for straying
Personally altering the structure of the work, focusing on cultivating a local client base and working from home (passing). Seeking assistance in restructuring work, applying for reduced workloads and seeking parental or carers leave (revealing). The audience status (pass to high status while revealing to same status audiences) and the closeness to relationships (pass to those distant while revealing to close friends) and mentors have an effect on the passing or revealing strategies. The efforts to pass or reveal to one audience can spillover and influence the perceptions held by the professional by other audiences. Women are less likely to engage to identity management strategies, men are likely to use passing as well as revealing identity management strategies. Women being more likely to utilize formal accommodations employed by the employer (parental leave). High performance ratings given to those who embrace the expected professional identity, those who use passing identity management strategies to cope with conflict. Low performance rating given to those who use revealing identity management strategies to cope with conflict. High performance rating result in a stable straightforward career paths.