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Between multiple identities and personal struggles: Healthcare professionals’ identity conflict perception and responses in challenging situations

Carminati, Lara and Heliot, YingFei (2019) Between multiple identities and personal struggles: Healthcare professionals’ identity conflict perception and responses in challenging situations In: European Academy of Management Annual Conference 2019 (EURAM 2019), 26-28 Jun 2019, Lisbon, Portugal.

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Due to the increasing diversity and complexity of today’s workplaces, individuals may experience identity conflict between the multiple identities they hold. Working under pressure and high uncertainty, healthcare professionals may face identity conflict between their professional and personal identities and values, especially in challenging situations. Although such conflict can significantly affect doctors and nurses’ psychological and behavioural responses and, ultimately, the quality of the healthcare system, how identity conflict emerges and unfolds remains unclear. By integrating works in organisational- management and medical literature, we thus explore healthcare professionals’ identity conflict dynamics in challenging situations, such as End-of-Life circumstances. We conducted a qualitative study, using semi-structured interviews (N= 47), among healthcare professionals working for the English National Healthcare Service. We implemented both theoretical and random samplings and followed grounded theory approaches to analyse the data. Our findings show that identity conflict was perceived between different identities but also within the same identity and, surprisingly, the conflict was stimulated by perspective taking processes. Lastly, behavioural responses to identity conflict included seeking peer support and doing reflective practices, whereas its psychological consequences unexpectedly embrace identity growth and positive learning dynamics. Hence, this paper contributes to and extends newer approaches in the identity literature by, firstly, focusing on identity conflict in depth, as one of the intrapsychic relationships of multiple identities simultaneously activated; and, secondly, unravelling some of the conditions whereby identity conflict can emerge and affect healthcare professionals’ psychological and behavioural responses.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Date : 26 June 2019
Uncontrolled Keywords : Identity Conflict; Perspective Taking; Behavioural and Psychological Responses
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 25 Oct 2019 09:29
Last Modified : 25 Oct 2019 09:29

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