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Identity workspaces: the case of business schools

Author: Petriglieri, Gianpiero ; Petriglieri, JenniferINSEAD Area: Organisational Behaviour Series: Working Paper ; 2008/37/OB Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 2008.Language: EnglishDescription: 40 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working PaperAbstract: This article introduces the concept of “identity workspaces”, defined as institutions that provide a holding environment for individuals’ identity work. We propose that institutions offering reliable social defenses, sentient communities and vital rites of passage are likely to be experienced as identity workspaces. The fluidity of contemporary corporate environments and the movement toward individually driven careers have generated an increased need for identity work while concurrently rendering corporations less reliable as spaces in which to conduct it. As a result, we posit that business schools are increasingly invested with the function of identity workspaces, especially by mid-level managers working in knowledge-intensive corporations.
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INSEAD Working Paper Asia Campus
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Print Available BC008329
INSEAD Working Paper Europe Campus
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Print Available BC008328
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This article introduces the concept of “identity workspaces”, defined as institutions that provide a holding environment for individuals’ identity work. We propose that institutions offering reliable social defenses, sentient communities and vital rites of passage are likely to be experienced as identity workspaces. The fluidity of contemporary corporate environments and the movement toward individually driven careers have generated an increased need for identity work while concurrently rendering corporations less reliable as spaces in which to conduct it. As a result, we posit that business schools are increasingly invested with the function of identity workspaces, especially by mid-level managers working in knowledge-intensive corporations.

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