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We develop a phenomenological perspective on identity regulation within organizations. Complementing the dominant discursive perspectives, we highlight the largely overlooked experiential underpinnings of the self. We introduce the concept of experiential subjectivity and explain why the related notion of an experiential self is a precondition of identity construction. We show how the experiential self is intrinsic to and partly constitutive of the normative (social and cultural) self, which contains personal and collective aspects that operate along reflective and pre-reflective dimensions. By elucidating the relationships between these concepts, we develop a phenomenological framework that offers a layered and multifaceted conceptualization of identity as a target of regulation, which suggests that different levels and aspects of the self can simultaneously be regulated to differing degrees. We also argue that reflective processes of identity work are always embedded in a broader context of pre-reflective experience that many accounts have overlooked.



Book title

Organization on the Precipice: Process Studies in Extreme Contexts


Oxford University Press

Publication Date