Emergent Identity Work and Institutional Change: The 'Quiet' Revolution of Japanese Middle-Class Housewives

Aegean Leung, Charlene Zietsma, Ana Maria Peredo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

How do relatively low-power, role-constrained actors break through their constraints in a highly institutionalized environment? Examining the experience of Japanese middle-class housewives involved in a social enterprise, we developed a model of emergent identity work which outlines how actors who enacted their role values in new domains triggered a process of learning and sensemaking which led to spiralling cycles of role boundary expansion. In this process, facilitated by an enabling collective, actors not only changed their own self-concept (internal identity work) but also, through external identity work, changed others' conceptions of their institutionally prescribed roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-450
Number of pages28
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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