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Living with contradictions: the dynamics of senior managers’ identity tensions in relation to sustainability

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Living with contradictions : the dynamics of senior managers’ identity tensions in relation to sustainability. / Allen, Stephen; Marshall, Judi; Easterby-Smith, Mark.

In: Organization and Environment, Vol. 28, No. 3, 09.2015, p. 328-348.

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@article{d3f42f2fa3ad4463979de2fb72cbe6bb,
title = "Living with contradictions: the dynamics of senior managers{\textquoteright} identity tensions in relation to sustainability",
abstract = "In this article, we investigate how senior managers located in Northern Europe in the energy and power industry coordinate their recognition of sustainability challenges with other things they say and do. Identity theory is used to examine the fine-grained work through which the managers navigate identities and potentially competing narratives. In contrast with other studies we find that pursuing cohering identities and resolving potential tensions and contradictions does not appear to matter for most of the managers. We explore the dynamics of how managers live with apparent contradictions and tensions without threat to their narrative coherence. We extend existing research into managerial identities and sustainability by showing how managers combine different potentially contrasting identity types, identifying nine discursive processes through which the majority of managers distance and deflect sustainability issues away from themselves and their companies, and, showing the contrasting identity dynamics in the case of one manager to whom narrative coherence becomes important and prompts alternative action.",
keywords = "sustainability, environment, identity, senior managers, self-identity, self-narrative, energy and power industry, Norther Europe, identity work",
author = "Stephen Allen and Judi Marshall and Mark Easterby-Smith",
year = "2015",
month = sep
language = "English",
volume = "28",
pages = "328--348",
journal = "Organization and Environment",
issn = "1086-0266",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Living with contradictions

T2 - the dynamics of senior managers’ identity tensions in relation to sustainability

AU - Allen, Stephen

AU - Marshall, Judi

AU - Easterby-Smith, Mark

PY - 2015/9

Y1 - 2015/9

N2 - In this article, we investigate how senior managers located in Northern Europe in the energy and power industry coordinate their recognition of sustainability challenges with other things they say and do. Identity theory is used to examine the fine-grained work through which the managers navigate identities and potentially competing narratives. In contrast with other studies we find that pursuing cohering identities and resolving potential tensions and contradictions does not appear to matter for most of the managers. We explore the dynamics of how managers live with apparent contradictions and tensions without threat to their narrative coherence. We extend existing research into managerial identities and sustainability by showing how managers combine different potentially contrasting identity types, identifying nine discursive processes through which the majority of managers distance and deflect sustainability issues away from themselves and their companies, and, showing the contrasting identity dynamics in the case of one manager to whom narrative coherence becomes important and prompts alternative action.

AB - In this article, we investigate how senior managers located in Northern Europe in the energy and power industry coordinate their recognition of sustainability challenges with other things they say and do. Identity theory is used to examine the fine-grained work through which the managers navigate identities and potentially competing narratives. In contrast with other studies we find that pursuing cohering identities and resolving potential tensions and contradictions does not appear to matter for most of the managers. We explore the dynamics of how managers live with apparent contradictions and tensions without threat to their narrative coherence. We extend existing research into managerial identities and sustainability by showing how managers combine different potentially contrasting identity types, identifying nine discursive processes through which the majority of managers distance and deflect sustainability issues away from themselves and their companies, and, showing the contrasting identity dynamics in the case of one manager to whom narrative coherence becomes important and prompts alternative action.

KW - sustainability

KW - environment

KW - identity

KW - senior managers

KW - self-identity

KW - self-narrative

KW - energy and power industry

KW - Norther Europe

KW - identity work

M3 - Journal article

VL - 28

SP - 328

EP - 348

JO - Organization and Environment

JF - Organization and Environment

SN - 1086-0266

IS - 3

ER -