In light of the frequency with which modern workers switch to different organizations, professional identity is bound to become a strong reference for workers’ self-definition. Our field study in a nanotechnology research setting explores the issue of the coexistence of multiple professional identities within a single group. Through the use of open interviews and diaries, we show how group members, who are physicists, chemists, engineers, and material scientists, first and foremost define themselves as researchers. Their interpretation of being a researcher differs, however, in terms of vision of science, vision of a researcher’s role in relationships, and vision of work. We provide a categorization of emerging professional identity profiles as ‘factory worker’, ‘integrator’, ‘administrator’, and ‘lone rider’. Different meanings of being a researcher are mirrored in work practices, interaction patterns, and use of time. Unlike theoretical expectations on the potential for competition that multiple identities entail, few conflicts were recorded in the setting under study. We trace the lack of conflicts back to the following conditions: the availability of slack resources that decouple group members; the rotation of junior researchers across projects that weakens the boundaries between identity profiles; the perception of a shared group identity that encompasses values of each of the different identity profiles. We argue that, when the above conditions intervene, multiple identities not only can coexist over time, but even benefit organizational adaptability and favor the retention of temporary workers.

Multiple professional identities: One big happy family? / Damiano, Russo; Mattarelli, Elisa; MARIA RITA, Tagliaventi. - In: ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT ANNUAL MEETING PROCEEDINGS. - ISSN 2151-6561. - ELETTRONICO. - (2008), pp. 1-6. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Academy of Management 2008 Annual Meeting: The Questions We Ask, AOM 2008 tenutosi a Anaheim, CA nel 8-13 agosto.

Multiple professional identities: One big happy family?

MATTARELLI, Elisa;
2008

Abstract

In light of the frequency with which modern workers switch to different organizations, professional identity is bound to become a strong reference for workers’ self-definition. Our field study in a nanotechnology research setting explores the issue of the coexistence of multiple professional identities within a single group. Through the use of open interviews and diaries, we show how group members, who are physicists, chemists, engineers, and material scientists, first and foremost define themselves as researchers. Their interpretation of being a researcher differs, however, in terms of vision of science, vision of a researcher’s role in relationships, and vision of work. We provide a categorization of emerging professional identity profiles as ‘factory worker’, ‘integrator’, ‘administrator’, and ‘lone rider’. Different meanings of being a researcher are mirrored in work practices, interaction patterns, and use of time. Unlike theoretical expectations on the potential for competition that multiple identities entail, few conflicts were recorded in the setting under study. We trace the lack of conflicts back to the following conditions: the availability of slack resources that decouple group members; the rotation of junior researchers across projects that weakens the boundaries between identity profiles; the perception of a shared group identity that encompasses values of each of the different identity profiles. We argue that, when the above conditions intervene, multiple identities not only can coexist over time, but even benefit organizational adaptability and favor the retention of temporary workers.
Academy of Management 2008 Annual Meeting: The Questions We Ask, AOM 2008
Anaheim, CA
8-13 agosto
1
6
Damiano, Russo; Mattarelli, Elisa; MARIA RITA, Tagliaventi
Multiple professional identities: One big happy family? / Damiano, Russo; Mattarelli, Elisa; MARIA RITA, Tagliaventi. - In: ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT ANNUAL MEETING PROCEEDINGS. - ISSN 2151-6561. - ELETTRONICO. - (2008), pp. 1-6. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Academy of Management 2008 Annual Meeting: The Questions We Ask, AOM 2008 tenutosi a Anaheim, CA nel 8-13 agosto.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/703869
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