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'Who are you?' – Constructing managerial identities in post-apartheid South Africa

Claude-Hélène Mayer and Lynette Louw

management revue. Socio-economic Studies, 2013, vol. 24, issue 4, 289-308

Abstract: This study focuses on the construction of identity concepts and values, in the process of developing managerial identities within a selected publically owned utility in South Africa. The methodology used is a multi-method case study approach which is conducted in the phenomenological, qualitative research paradigm. The findings show that managers define themselves in terms of “intra-personal” and “social identities” which are based on strong individual and socio-cultural value foundations. Data highlight that managerial identities are connected to the organisational identity. Seventeen years after the end of apartheid, managerial identities are no longer reduced and limited to fixed racial, cultural or professional identities founded on historic perspectives, but are rather viewed as a dynamic cross-cultural construct of interpersonal interactions. This article provides the reader with new insights into managerial identity constructions in a multicultural public utility setting in post-apartheid South Africa.

Keywords: identity; South Africa; management; ethnography; interviewer-interviewee interaction; values (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F54 J17 J71 O10 O55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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