Metaphors of Identity and Professional Practice: Learning From the Scholar–Practitioner

Kathy E. Kram and and Jeffrey Yip, both of the Boston University School of Management, and Ilene C. Wasserman of ICW Consulting Group published “Metaphors of Identity and Professional Practice: Learning From the Scholar–Practitioner” on March 22, 2012 in The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. To view other OnlineFirst articles, please click here.

The abstract:

Historically, professional identity was viewed as a singular construct, and the boundary-spanning dynamics of subidentities remained unexamined. More recently, identity scholars have paved the way to consider the multiple personal and social identities that comprise an individual’s professional identity. These dynamics are exemplified by the unique challenges that scholar–practitioners regularly encounter. To deepen understanding of variations in how scholar–practitioners enact their professional identity, we interviewed young scholar–practitioners who completed their doctorates in the past 7 years, as well as seasoned scholar–practitioners with at least 20 years of experience. We elicited metaphors from the interviewees to explore the complexities of their professional identity and subidentities and the challenges that scholar–practitioners face at different stages of career development. We offer implications for the future socialization of scholar–practitioners and others in boundary-spanning roles.

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