'Ethics' as a discursive resource for identity work

Martin Kornberger, A Brown

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    102 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article analyses how participants in a not-for-profit service organization (the 'Incubator'(I)) drew on understandings of 'ethics' in order to make sense of their individual and collective selves. Identities are theorized as being constituted within discursive regimes, and notions of ethics are conceived as discursive resources on which individuals and groups may draw in their attempts to author versions of their self and organizational narratives. We show how conceptions of ethics were a rich vein on which organizational members drew to elaborate narratives that legitimated particular modes of working and which cohered an otherwise quite disparate community of individuals. The research contribution of this article is twofold. First, we discuss how a discourse focused on ethics may be a strategic resource for identity work. Second, we analyse how talk and writing about issues of ethics are implicated in relations of power and ongoing struggles for control over organizations conceived as discursive spaces. In so doing, this article advances our understanding of ethics as discursively complex constructions, which require the micro-analysis of language practices in situated contexts for action.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)497-518
    Number of pages22
    JournalHuman Relations
    Volume60
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

    Keywords

    • discursive resource
    • ethics
    • identity work
    • not-for-profit organization
    • power
    • resistance
    • ORGANIZATIONAL IDENTITY
    • IRON CAGE
    • RESISTANCE
    • SUBJECTIVITY
    • CONVERSATIONS
    • HEGEMONY
    • BUSINESS
    • CULTURE
    • POWER

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of ''Ethics' as a discursive resource for identity work'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this