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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0768


SAAYMAN, Tamsen  and  CRAFFORD, Anne. Negotiating work identity. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2011, vol.37, n.1, pp. 01-12. ISSN 2071-0768.

ORIENTATION: The study explored the dynamics of work identity negotiation and construction. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to investigate identity tensions and demands that mobilise identity work in the work environment. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The study hoped to improve the understanding of the dynamics of identity construction and negotiation. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: Using grounded theory methodology in the context of qualitative field research, the researchers conducted two unstructured interviews with 28 employees of a South African manufacturing company. MAIN FINDINGS: The five primary dimensions the data yielded were personal identity, individual agency, social identity, social practice and job. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: This study has implications for organisations that want to improve productivity through understanding work identity. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The article presents a conceptual model of the demands and tensions that influence work identity.

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