Managerial work identity construction and problem-solving : systemic reflections

Wu, Shaowei

September 2012

Thesis or dissertation

© 2012 Shaowei Wu. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

In modern society, organizations and individuals are facing great challenges in managing people’s identity because of some newly emerged social and organizational phenomena. However, academic research in the identity field fails to make explicit the process of identity construction; further, few supportive instruments have been developed to assist people in managing their identity construction process. The thesis aims to further expose the process of work identity construction, identifying problems and difficulties embedded in the process and developing a set of instruments
to assist people in managing the process.

In order to achieve these objectives, systems theories were introduced to the identity research field through an action research project. In depth long-term case studies were conducted based on four managers’ experiences of applying four systems approaches in their management practices and identity construction processes.

Some advances in identity research and practice have been made in this research. By bringing in the perspectives of systems thinking, some new interpretations on the identity issue are achieved. By exploring the triggers, mechanisms and outcomes of identity construction, the identity construction process is further exposed. By summarizing and reflecting on the experience of application of systems approaches in assisting identity management, a new set of instruments is developed.

Business School, The University of Hull
Gregory, Amanda (Amanda Jayne); Zhu, Zhichang
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