What does being a manager mean to those who do managerial work and why has becoming a manager become so attractive for so many people? How does pursuing a managerial career fit with the wider project of constructing a life and a sense of self? This illuminating and thoughtful book answers these questions by considering the extended life histories of ten managers, allowing their own voices to be heard. The Manager's Tale uses the ideas of Heidegger, Sartre and Ricoeur to show that who a person is can be seen as a narrative accomplishment, a result of the stories we tell ourselves and others. Within this framework the manager's stories are revealed, highlighting the complex ways in which dominant expectations of what it means to be a successful individual in the modern world influences what sort of person we strive to be.
'This is a must-read book for anyone interested in identity issues in contemporary work organizations. Keenly researched and effectively theorized, this is a welcome addition to the fields of narrative and identity.' Andrew D. Brown, University of Bath, UK 'Being a manager involves making compromises, and telling stories to yourself and others. Patrick Reedy's book tells the tale of a group of managers, and beautifully explores issues of identity, life history and class. It will be relevant to anyone who holds a position of authority, or wants to understand what authority does to others.' Martin Parker, University of Leicester, UK
Contents: Preface; Once upon a time; The managers' tales; Understanding Identity; Narrative identity and the existentialist quest; My generation: life stories as historical narrative; Telling tales; And they all lived happily ever after?; Bibliography; Index.