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"Socialization, Multiple Identities, and Identity Customization: Towards a Model of Work-Identity Integrity"

Michael G. Pratt, Kevin Rock, and Jeffrey B. Kaufmann

 

First Author :

Michael G. Pratt
Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1206 S. Sixth Street, M/C 706
Champaign, IL 61820
USA

mpratt@uiuc.edu

http://www.business.uiuc.edu/faculty/pratt.html


Second Author :

Kevin Rock
Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1206 S. Sixth Street, M/C 706
Champaign, IL 61820
USA

k-rock@uiuc.edu

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Third Author :

Jeffrey B. Kaufmann
University of Illinois

 
 
Abstract :
 
A longitudinal, inductive study of three groups of first year medical residents (surgeons, primary care, and radiologists) reveals how residents with multiple conceptualizations of “who they are” come to achieve a sense of work-identity integrity: the alignment between “who I am” as a professional and my work. While all residents changed or customized their professional identities to fit their work, the process varied by group: some added depth to their professional identities (identity enrichment), some added breadth (identity patching), and some regressed to previous identities to protect their developing sense of who they were as professionals (identity splinting). We argue that how one achieved work-identity integrity depended on prior and current socialization, and was facilitated by the existence of multiple identities at both the individual and collective (e.g., profession and organization) level. We conclude by discussing the implications of identity customization and work-identity integrity on extant research.
 
 
Manuscript Received : 2003
Manuscript Published : 2003
 
 
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