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Title: The manager's tale : an exploration of narrative construction of managerial identity
Author: Reedy, Patrick.
ISNI:       0000 0000 4784 6661
Awarding Body: University of Keele
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2004
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The thesis explores the idea that the construction of managerial identity can usefully be conceptualised as a narrative accomplishment. The research is framed as itself a story that is made up of interrelated autobiographies and biographies. In my introduction I explain how and why I have used stories, including an account of how I collected and organised the material that forms the empirical content of the thesis. In the following two chapters I present both my own life history and those of a number of managers. In Chapters Four, Five and Six, I develop my theoretical position on narrative identity. I start by evaluating how managerial identities are framed within Critical Management Studies (CMS), offering a critique of CMS as a product of an academic identity project that often unreflexively relies upon positioning managers as 'the Other'. I go on to argue that, as a result, a rather limited bipolar debate between humanistic and poststructuralist conceptions of identity has become characteristic of CMS research. In Chapter Six I argue that the existentialist philosophy of Heidegger, Sartre and Ricoeur might extend thinking about managerial identity through its insistence on the essential narrativity of human existence and its conception of lives as existential quests. I then return to the life histories, thematising them using the theoretical framework developed previously, according to three modes of narrative analysis; those of historical reference, narrative elements, and narrative performance. I conclude that the narrative approach and the use of life histories has much to offer future research into managerial identity and has important ethical and political implications for the CMS 'project'. These implications include the ethical imperative of representing others empathetically and exploring the links between our own identity projects, our representation of others and the pursuit of social justice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available