Professional identity transformation and strategic industry change: from ambiguity to reconstruction
Publication typeConference Proceeding
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractIn industries disrupted by technological innovation, strategic industry change may affect professional identity. This study explains the dynamic processes through which the professional identity of a collective of professionals evolves and transforms. To study such continuous transformation of a shared identity we engaged in a longitudinal qualitative study of the discursive practices of professionals in the newspaper industry. Professionals renegotiated core elements constituting their identity by converting old understandings of professional identity into new ones and by expanding understandings of professional identity by means of new elements. As such, they engaged in dynamic identity reconstruction processes allowing the reconstruction of a coherent professional identity, congruent with the strategic industry change at hand. Our study reveals the importance of recursive interrelationships between identity, cognition and strategic industry change: professional identity defines professionals’ cognitive interpretation of industry change, yet in parallel strategic industry change shapes professionals’ cognitive understanding of their identity. We contribute by highlighting the value of intertwining professional identity theory and strategic change research to better understand industry dynamics.
Knowledge Domain/IndustryMarketing & Sales