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    My Power, My People: Exploring the Identity Management of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Employees in the Irish Workplace

    McFadden, Ciaran (2016) My Power, My People: Exploring the Identity Management of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Employees in the Irish Workplace. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This thesis explores the identity management of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) employees in Ireland. A qualitative method (semi-structured interviews with 29 participants) is used to examine what affects LGB identity management in the workplace. The study uses a Critical Realist perspective, influenced by Feminist Theory and Critical Theory. The theoretical framework underpinning the analysis of the data is comprised of Dramaturgical Theory (Goffman, 1959), Social Identity Theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979), The Stranger (Simmel, 1908), and Power (e.g. Fleming & Spicer, 2014). A number of findings are outlined in this thesis. Firstly, the role of power, in particular hegemonic heteronormativity, in the identity management of LGB employees is explored. The analysis shows how, because of this power dynamic, LGB employees can represent a form of the Stranger (Simmel, 1908) in the workplace. Secondly, this thesis shows how identity management can take place and is influenced on multiple levels, at the individual level, at the group level, at the organisational level, and at the macro-level. Thirdly, the different strategies that one may take in managing their identity are outlined here. A framework showing a continuum from separating one’s LGB identity from one’s workplace identity, to integrating or highlighting it, is constructed. Lastly, the role of the LGBT network, which is under-researched in the academic literature, is discussed. This analysis show how the LGBT network represents a source of social support, moderates the Stranger status that some LGB employees face, provides voice for LGB employees, and signals to both the network’s members and non-members that the organisation is accepting and supportive of LGB identities. A number of implications of this research, for both the academic literature and for HR policy and practice, are discussed.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Power; People; Exploring; Identity Management; Lesbian; Gay; Bisexual; Employees; Irish Workplace;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Business
    Item ID: 13876
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2021 11:37
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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