research

Identity work in an online professional community

As a nice start to the New Year I have an article published in Human Resource Development International on professional identity and identity-work in open online communities. The article is available here and the abstract reads:

Defining Human Resource Development (HRD) as either a scholarly domain or field of practice is widely recognised as problematic. This article investigates how practitioners engage in processes of identity work to collectively construct definitions of the domain of HRD in two Twitter chat events. HRD is presented in these events as a highly individualised practice taking place within professional networks and is characterized as an ‘enterprising self-hood’. The enterprising-self strives to demonstrate professional competence within networks that provide affiliation and relational support in the experiences of becoming and being a professional. HRD is seen to be shaped by the demands of the knowledge economy and by emerging digital technologies. This determinist stance positions technology as a challenge for the practices of HRD and as a means for HRD to develop better, more effective practices. The participants in the chat events position themselves in contrast to an ‘other’ HRD that is slow, old fashioned and failing to effectively engage with new technologies. These Twitter chat events are presented as enactments of the future practices of HRD demonstrating ‘how a professional can practise’ against descriptions of how HRD professionals currently do practice.

This is a follow-up article to my paper published in the same journal in 2014: Exploring the relationship between discourse and a practice perspective on HRD in a virtual environment.

 

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