Moral Identity Work and Search for Identity

Sandra Corlett, Peter McInnes

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    This paper examines the identity work undertaken by managers in situations where what they should do is problematized by who they are. Such instances have typically been understood in terms of individuals’ identity struggles and their self-justifications relative to notions of ethics. We argue that understanding individual’s everyday experience of identity as intertwining the reflexive questions ‘who am I?’ and ‘what should I do?’ allows a fuller understanding of the way in which identity enactment involves positioning ones-self relative to others, and to the norms prevailing upon a given situation. We illustrate this by exploring the moral identity work contained within the accounts given by two managers of episodes that caused them to question who they are and what they should do. In mapping their efforts to position themselves within these accounts we provide insight into the identity struggles of these managers and, more generally, to the moral identity work implicit to much of identity construction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
    Event13th Annual Conference of the European Academy of Management - Istanbul, Turkey
    Duration: 1 Jan 2013 → …


    Conference13th Annual Conference of the European Academy of Management
    Period1/01/13 → …
    Internet address


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