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Normative identity processes in managers' personal development training
University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
2012 (English)In: Personnel review, ISSN 0048-3486, E-ISSN 1758-6933, Vol. 41, no 5, 572-589 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The article aims to analyze how personal development training influences managers’ identity processes.

Design/methodology/approach – The article, taking an interpretive-critical approach, is based on a qualitative, longitudinal study of five participants (managers) in a personal development training program. During the two years of research, 62 interviews (with the managers and related personnel) were conducted and 13 observations were made.

Findings – Personal development training provokes identity regulation by prescribing a normative identity process that claims managers should engage in a process of reflection in order to gain self-awareness. Such training constitutes a local management discourse that may influence different levels of identity work and identity regulation processes depending on the participants’ expectations, their organizations and professional situations, their level of insecurity, as well as their previous experience with management discourse.

Practical implications – Since management training influences participants’ identity processes, program organizers, purchasers and participants should be wary of the expectation that management training will deliver content as “a package” of managerial skills.

Originality/value – The study challenges the traditional view of management training as a provider of skills and solutions for managers by focusing instead on its influence on managers’ processes of identity work and identity regulation. Management training in general is claimed to regulate identities and direct identity work by providing inspirational identities. However, this study finds that personal development training regulates identities by prescribing the identity process in itself.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012. Vol. 41, no 5, 572-589 p.
Keyword [en]
Identity, Identity work, Identity regulation, Personal development, Discourse, Self development, Training, Managers
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Humanities and Social sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-6562DOI: 10.1108/00483481211249111ISI: 000311268800002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84863795785OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-6562DiVA: diva2:562039
Available from: 2012-10-23 Created: 2012-10-23 Last updated: 2013-03-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf