Professional Agency, Identity, and Emotions While Leaving One’s Work Organization
This study investigated the enactment of professional agency in an emotionally troubled work context emerging from a conflicted relationship between the professional and the work organization. Narrative interviews with Finnish educators were utilized. The findings indicate that the enactment of agency was in part framed by the educators’ rational interpretations of the relationship between themselves and their employer, plus their work history and future prospects. However, it was simultaneously embedded with contradictory emotions, such as a sense of being undervalued, fear, and a sense of empowerment. Within this framework, multifaceted professional agency was enacted particularly via leaving the organization. This was also a means of upholding one’s professional identity and resisting the organization’s work practices. The paper contributes to the theorizing of professional agency, particularly regarding its emotional dimension, and elaborates the significance of an emotional relationship between professionals and their organizations.
Keywords: career, educators, emotions, meaningful work, narrative research, professional agency, professional identity
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).