Workplace Identity Construction

By: Lize Annie Eliza Booysen  

While the field of workplace identity studies is nascent and fragmented, it has matured in the sense that there are calls for the integration of divergent perspectives across the field and paradigmatic divides (Miscenko & Day, 2015; Sveningsson & Alvesson, 2003, Watson, 2008). Little attention has been paid to integrate intersectionality (Crensaw, 1991), a concept derived from critical feminist thought, into workplace identity research. Intersectionality is useful in conceptualizing work identity because it recognizes the simultaneity of the different social categories individuals belong to that inform their identities and also the ways they structure organizations and people’s experiences within them (Andersson, 2008; Roberts & Creary, 2013). Identity work is also relatively new in cross-cultural research, which tends to focus mainly on national culture or cross-cultural comparisons (Klarsfeld, Ng, Booysen, Christianson & Kuvaas, 2016). Consequently, the importance of super-group levels identity influences, such as national culture and societal contextual factors is also not sufficiently explored in workplace identity research.This workshop will extend our thinking on workplace identity by focusing on intersectionality to highlight the significance of an individual’s intersections of social locations in the workplace embedded in socio-historical and political contexts. Second, by focusing on the influence of national culture as a macro contextual factor, adding a cross-cultural leadership perspective on how individuals navigate their identities at work. We will explore: How does identity work intersect with cross-cultural research? How does identity work intersect with intersectionality? Can intersectionality be used to also unearth privilege and not only marginalization?

Identity, Construction, Intersectionality, Workplace, Leader, Cross-Cultural, Leadership, Identity, Complexity, Simultaneity
Identity and Belonging
Workshop Presentation

Dr. Lize Annie Eliza Booysen

Professor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership, Graduate School of Leadership and Change, Antioch University, United States
Ohio, United States

Lize is professor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership at Antioch University (USA) teaching on the PhD program in Leadership and Change. She does research and consults in the fields of leadership, culture and diversity. Lize holds an MA in Clinical Psychology cum laude (University of Johannesburg, South Africa), an MA in Research Psychology cum laude, and an MA in Criminology cum laude (University of Pretoria, South Africa). She completed her Doctorate in Business Leadership at University of South Africa in 1999 on The influences of race and gender on leadership attributes of South African managers. Lize is registered as both a Clinical and a Research Psychologist and has extensive practical experience. Dr Booysen is also adjunct faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA and has been involved in the 12 nation Leadership Across Differences (LAD) research project steered by the CCL, since 2003. She participated in the GLOBE 65-nations research project on leadership, national culture and organizational practices, during 1994 - 2003 steered by Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.