Walking towards ‘Self-field Congruity’ in the workplace

Mak, Connie (2019) Walking towards ‘Self-field Congruity’ in the workplace. In: 13th EIASM Colloquium on organizational change and development, 17-18 October 2019, Manchester, UK.

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Abstract - Connie Mak - Hong Kong Polytechnic University SPEED (EIASM-Org Change & Development - Manchester 17-18 Oct 2019 ) .pdf
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Abstract - Connie Mak - Hong Kong Polytechnic University SPEED (EIASM-Org Change & Development - Manchester 17-18 Oct 2019 ) .pdf
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Abstract

Submitted for 13TH EIASM COLLOQUIUM ON ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT
17-18 October 2019, Manchester , UK.

WALKING TOWARDS ‘SELF-FIELD CONGRUITY’ IN THE WORKPLACE

Self-identity and related practices are under-researched in the workplace context. Even less attention is paid to exploring how self-construction takes place and changes over people’s career life. Building on the sociological work of Goffman and Bourdieu, this study used the novel walking-with interviews on top of narrative inquiries to understand how executives deploy different cultural capital for impression management over their career trajectories.
The study reveals that different kinds of cultural capital are changing in saliency when executives advance in their professional fields. Senior executives opt for more intrinsic resources and practices such as linguistic power, reciprocal trust and self-corporate congruity in lieu of the extrinsic ones like appearance and diligence which are commonly used among junior executives. Apart from the changing ‘portfolio’ over time, cultural capital is also found to be ‘field-specific’. A crucial capital or effective practice in one professional field can lose its power in other work structures or even becomes a liability due to diverse ‘rules of games’. Despite these dynamics, this study extends Bourdieu’s theory and discovers a more ‘superior’ and sustainable cultural capital in mature professionals which resides not only in a person’s adaptability to a given work field, but on his very understanding of his own competencies and personality, based on which a complementary field is seek. Such cultural capital of ‘self-knowing’ against ‘field-sensing’ constitutes the habitus of pursuing “self-field congruity”. The optimal field renders ‘cultural fit’ so that executives can be ‘true to themselves’ when manoeuvring for career survival and advancement.

Keywords:cultural capital, impression management, career life, self-field congruity
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N215 Organisational Development
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:45849
Deposited On:25 Aug 2021 11:20

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