Publication details for Dr Oliver MallettMallett, O. & Wapshott, R. (2012). Mediating ambiguity: Narrative identity and knowledge workers. Scandinavian Journal of Management 28(1): 16-26.
- Publication type: Journal papers: academic
- ISSN/ISBN: 0956-5221
- DOI: 10.1016/j.scaman.2011.12.001
- Keywords: Ricoeur, Knowledge work, Identity work, Narrative identity, Mediation, Ambiguity, Designers
- View online: Online version
- Durham research online: DRO record
Author(s) from Durham
Drawing on Paul Ricoeur's approach to narrative identity and a longitudinal case study of a graphic design firm, this paper explores identity work provoked by organisational changes for one group of knowledge workers, graphic designers. The approach to identity work developed in this paper illuminates how these knowledge workers use narrative to mediate between social and personal identities during a period of significant organisational change. The narrative identity approach, derived from Ricoeur, embraces the multiplicity, complexity and potential contradictions encountered by knowledge workers facing threats to their personal identity. In addition to developing Ricoeur's thinking to understand identity work in an organisational context, the impact of organisational change for knowledge workers is highlighted for practitioners.