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Title: Ontological security and identity work : a case study of management consultancy
Author: McGoldrick, John
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 6578
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores a core concept in the social sciences, ontological security, and seeks to demonstrate its relevance to management and organization studies. Following Giddens (1984, 1991), ontological security is seen as a system of basic trust in oneself which offers a resource for meaningful continuity in self-identity, albeit one always open to disruption. However, the view, almost naturalised in critical management studies is that such security will only ever be fleeting, temporary and futile (Knights and Clarke, 2014) and that it is ontological insecurity that lies at the heart of work place relations and regulation (Alvesson and Willmott, 2002) is challenged. In addition, the research contributes to identity work theory by drawing on a Ricoeurian lens of the continuity and mobility of identity to differentiate between significant contexts of identity work. These are linked to identity regulation and processes of resistance and identity assertion and repair that can represent moments of micro-emancipation as well as resources to support future identity work. These dynamics are explored in the empirical context of individuals in the field of management consultancy in the UK, using an adapted learning history method (Roth and Kleiner, 1998) as a form of dialogical narrative analysis. This approach is shown to support two additional objectives of this research – heightened critical reflection among participants and avoiding a monopolisation of voice by the researcher.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available