Identity work as a response to tensions: A re-narration in opera rehearsals

Nic Beech, Charlotte Louise Gilmore, Eilidh Cochrane, Gail Jane Greig

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    66 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper explores identity work in the creative setting of an opera company. We focus on how people account for who they are and what they do as they go through the process of preparing to perform an opera. Identity work can occur as a response to internal tensions and we inquire into the kinds of tension that occur for our research participants. We go on to analyse a dramatic event as a form of re-narration and we consider how the re-narration can occur. As a result we seek to make two related contributions to the literature on identity work in the creative industries. First, we elucidate three kinds of internal tension that can elicit on-going identity work by people in creative organisations. Second, we explicate re-narration as an aspect of the process of identity work. In re-narration, the characters of others become reformed so as to fit with a narrative that holds sway in the social context, and as a result the relationship between self and other is affected.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-47
    JournalScandinavian Journal of Management
    Issue number1
    Early online date23 Jan 2012
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


    • identity
    • tension
    • dialogue
    • creative industries
    • re-narration


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