Identity Constructions of Sales Managers: The Chinese Guanxi Milieu.

Ou, Juanjuan (2011) Identity Constructions of Sales Managers: The Chinese Guanxi Milieu. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

This thesis takes a social constructionist approach to study the discursive identity constructions of sales managers when they are engaged in different Guanxi with their customers. It explores the discursive identity constructions of the sales managers; the discursive resources that are drawn upon for these identities; the regulation and control of these identities through the discursive resources; the relationships of these identities. Data is collected through participant observation and qualitative in-depth interviews of the sales managers in a company selling food additives in China. A discursive analytic approach informed by Critical Discourse Analysis is adopted for data analysis. Narrative analysis and metaphors analysis are also incorporated as part of this approach to explore sales managers' identity constructions. It is found that sales managers construct two contextual and contradictory metaidentities: an emotional relational self when they describe their interaction or actually interact with their customers; an instrumental anti-relational self when they reflect upon their interaction with their customers. Four aspects of identities are constructed of the two meta-identities. Drawing upon discursive resources of familism, ethics, conformity and undirected reciprocity, four aspects of self are constructed of the emotional relational self: familial; ethical; conforming and undirected reciprocal aspects. In contradiction to these four aspects of self, drawing upon contradictory discursive resources of anti-familism, anti-ethics, adaptability and directed reciprocity, four aspects of self are also constructed of the instrumental anti-relational self: anti-familial; unethical; adaptive and directed reciprocal aspects. It is also found that these two meta-identities and their aspects of identities relate to each other in three different ways: antagonistic, intertwining; and disguising. This thesis has made four main contributions. Firstly, this thesis finds that the multiple contradictory identities constructed of the organizational members could be drawn upon a single discursive resource, rather than from multiple discursive resources as argued in literature. Secondly, this thesis addresses the current lack of research on relationships among identities in organization identity research, and conceptualizes the relationships among identities as: antagonistic; intertwining and disguising. Thirdly, this thesis found that the organizationally favourable outcomes could be achieved through the regulation and control of the individual's identities by an extraorganization discourse, coming from outside the organizations; rather than by the discourse within an organization as noted in literature. Fourthly, this thesis introduces an analytic practice from the discipline of linguistics, which is totally new to the field of organization studies, to focus on the originality and the culturally specific meanings of 'other language' data through a triple translation method, rather than the currently popular practice of using uni-lingual English language to deal with multi-lingual language data.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Lancaster University (United Kingdom), 2011.
Subjects:
ID Code:
133584
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
02 May 2019 16:36
Refereed?:
No
Published?:
Unpublished
Last Modified:
28 Oct 2020 00:49