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Maria Daskalaki, Christina Butler & Jelena Petrovic.

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Presentation on theme: "Maria Daskalaki, Christina Butler & Jelena Petrovic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Maria Daskalaki, Christina Butler & Jelena Petrovic

2 Background  Research has theorised migrants and members of transnational working communities : ‘cosmopolitans’ discussing cosmopolitanism as an ethico-political project that underpins new institutional as well as political arrangements worldwide (Nowicka and Rovisco, 2009).  Yet, cosmopolitanism still remains largely a prescriptive concept or a descriptive concept that enables one to differentiate among social and cultural groups.  In this paper, we try to adopt a more practice-based approach and see how some aspects of the Cosmopolis are enacted 'in the making', as a process of identity transformation. 2

3 Literature I: Identity  identity construction is a process where individuals continuously construct identity in interaction, negotiating and modifying conceptions of social identity and personal identity.  identities are mobile and temporary constructs; hence, managing the cosmopolis of contemporary organisational context and trans-located employees ought to reflect ‘disjunctured flows’ (Appadurai 1990). 3

4 Literature II: Expatriation  Exploring the challenges in the literature in the field of IHRM posed by recent studies of the global, identity, movement and transformation.  Contextualizing expatriation _the ‘cosmopolitan tradition’. 4

5 Literature III: Global mindsets and CQ  Cultural Intelligence (CQ): ability to adapt easily and well in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive terms to new cultural contexts such as that currently being experienced (see increased inter-Europe migration due to financial crisis)  CQ has been shown to predict integration in multinational teams, international assignment effectiveness, expatriate adjustment and performance and task performance in culturally diverse settings. ( eg. see the work of Kim, Kirkman, and Chen, 2008; Shaffer and Miller, 2008; Ang, Van Dyne, Koh, Templer, Tay, and Chandrasekar, 2007). 5

6 Literature (II&III): Summary  Discuss expatriates' dual loyalty to the home and host organizations suggesting that ideally an expatriation experience could lead to the identification halfway between the cultures involved or to some kind of biculturalism.  Through that, "repeat expatriates maintain a sense of coherence which makes the transitions less difficult" (Näsholm, 2011: 182). (e.g. Black and Gregersen, 1992; Sanchez, Spector and Cooper, 2000; Richardson and McKenna, 2006) 6

7 Cosmopolitan condition  A bottom-up, individual-based, socio-cultural project that deciphers "the complex entanglements of cosmopolitanism with the visual, with mobilities, and with changing forms of "being-in-the-world" (Szerszynski and Urry, 2006: 115).  This turn calls for a re-conceptualisation of social relations, away from a dualist "here/there" towards relational and more importantly emergent (organizational) spaces. 7

8 This paper’s contribution An alternative to homogenizing globalisation discourses _ fail to capture employee mobility and transient, temporary work identities and the new territorialities that mobilities entail. Identity construction _a continuous transformation in the composition of self, based on fluidity of space and time, conditions embedded in a cosmopolitan career. Employment of autobiographical narratives _ exploring the concepts of stability / mobility, self/other and place (home) / non-place (non-home). 8

9 Method  Autobiographical narratives, an auto-ethnography.  We employ three journal entries, our personal narratives that unveil aspects of our cosmopolitan (academic) lives  These pieces as means through which we construct meaningful aspects of our identities 9

10 Analysis  Auto-narrative vignettes as phenomenological texts, that is, subjective descriptions of lived experiences which entail powerful words resonating within the reader on cognitive, emotional and physical levels (Bachelard,1969).  These levels are explained as relational and interacting categories as they do not isolate the subject from the outside world.  We focused on tropes (or corporeal signs) and discourse / artefacts to make sense of our personal experiences and find a resource or a tool for sharing meaning and affect. 10

11 The Three Narratives "Je me souviens” "Here we go again" "In transit" 11

12 Initial reflections, emerging themes Our personal narratives challenge traditional dichotomies:  place (home)/non-place (non-home)  stability/mobility  self/other 12

13 Place/Non-place  The narratives include uncertainty, instability and dynamic and chaotic environments involving deep, subtle, uncontrolled, "irreversible" feelings of loss and separation. This leads to a temporary transmogrification of individual identities with one de- personalised, functional identity – a non-place, a "non-identity" (Auge, 1995).  a relationship that is assumed conceptually to be two (people & place), existentially is lived as one  A locale cannot be a non-place because there is always already- lived-togetherness of person (people) and world (environment) that is, the two are intertwined. 13

14 Stability/Mobility  We have created and continue to create boundaries at work around our multiple, transient identities as we constantly process changing phenomena.  Yet, we are constantly crossing these boundaries; it helps us overcome this either/or mentality and develop a dialectical framework that redresses the fact that segregation and divisional discourses are failing to account for relationally emerging phenomena.  "Continuity and stillness only exist because of movement". 14

15 Self/Other  the non-identities are identities not yet performed, and not functional, depersonalized identities. Future performed engagements with specific places will provide a lived experience that will actualize one's potential identities.  we argue for transient images of personal identities that are constantly constructed as part of a cyclical relationship between all lived elements of the human condition.  Movement from place to place is a continuous process of emplacement, one that creates temporary experiences of in- betweeness, a feeling of simultaneous departure and arrival, of an immanent and eminent transformation 15

16 Some implications of our work (1) We would like to inform: a) literature on expatriation with less functionalist approaches and more process-based studies on global management theory and practice. b) Change management literature: Inhabiting the in- between, performing a mobile identity and engaging with transient relationships and contexts can provide opportunities for creative and innovative breaks in standardised routines and organizational procedures- a polyvocal change space. 16

17 Some implications of our work (2)  Organizational Structures/forms: inhabitation of temporary spaces during this process of expansion of one’s identity boundaries can offer an organisational environment where, more transgressive forms of organizing could develop; One resists the different (in our case our engagement with a British context), only to absorb and gradually expand it, a unique process of re-constructing oneself in relation with the other, a temporary space of in-betweeness. 17

18 Some implications of our work (3)  Adaptation of transient employees and employment relations: ought to reflect the personal histories and future professional plans of individual employees.  Selection processes: need to consider who may cope with temporary non-identity, supporting them in this non-place, and focusing away from concerns of expatriates "going native".  international training and development: a much more direct link with employee (identity) performance management is needed rather than just focusing on a traditional "pre-departure" training. 18

19 Finally...  we see binary conceptualisations as sterile relationships that have to be replaced by more dialectical experiences of (un-) becoming  a process approach that also encapsulates the reversal of the event, the un-becoming and creates more transient, flexible and incomplete or translocal personal/professional identities.  translocal identities that enact and perform intermediate spaces where temporary displacement and perpetual dislocation may not only be inevitably experienced but also actively pursued. 19

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