Discursive Resources: Top Managers’ Identities and the Long-term Survival of their Organizations

By Hafez Abdo and Manuel Aguiar.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper represents an attempt to understand the dynamics of the identity work in the context of the challenges top managers have to address. Managers’ discursive resources influence what they notice and also the interpretation of what is noticed. Their ability to understand and challenge their discursive resources is crucial because the persistence of categories and metaphors that depicts a globalized world where they do not have capacity to react may explain the decline of their organizations. The stories they tell ground their emotions and their identities and then they see the world and themselves through them. Hence, their discursive resources and their emotions impact on the long-term survival of their organizations through the strategic exchange between top managers and organizations. The paper raises queries about the discursive resources that top managers use to define their identities, and how these identities may affect the long-term survival of organizations.

The findings from this study add to the theoretical knowledge of the sense-making literature. They have practical consequences for the textile sector in Portugal and how strategic issues are addressed. This is in allowing an understanding of the influence that discursive resources have in managers’ identity construction and the effects of their identities on the long-term survival of their organizations. Thus, this paper is expected to benefit managers within the sector since they will have a better understanding of the processes they use to build their identities, how their identities impact in the future of their organizations. These are all important considering the relevance of the sector in the Portuguese economy. Ultimately, the paper may be of benefit to managers from other sectors and academia, given that the findings have broader implications.

Keywords: Discursive, Resources, Top Managers, Identity

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 10, Issue 12, pp.49-62. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 674.382KB).

Dr. Hafez Abdo

Senior Lecturer, Accounting and Finance, The Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Dr Abdo is a senior lecturer at the Nottingham Trent University. He teachs at both undergraduate and postgradute levels, He also supervise PhD and DBA students. Dr Abdo's research interest is focused on Energy Policy, Energy Economics, Oil and Gas agreements and Governance of mineral resources.

Dr. Manuel Aguiar

Lecturer, Politica de Empresa, AESE, Porto, Portugal

Manuel Aguiar is professor of strategy at AESE (Portugal). He is Associated Dean at ASM – Angola School of Management and a member of the Academic Committee at ASM. Prof. Manuel Aguiar is also Executive Vice President of Atlantic Research Center, which is a center dedicated to carrying out interdisciplinary research that has an impact on corporation, social institutions and public policy in Africa. His research interests include Globalization and Language in managerial decision making.


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