Accretion, angst and antidote: the transition from knowledge worker to manager in the UK heritage sector in an era of austerity

Alistair Bowden, Malgorzata Ciesielska

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Abstract

The transition from worker to manager requires “a profound psychological adjustment – a transformation of professional identity” (Hill, 2004, p. 121). The transition from knowledge worker to manager of knowledge workers is particularly difficult. Some professionals find it “a big transition” or “a quantum leap” (Corlett, 2009, p. 150), whilst others “simply cannot adjust to a managerial life style” (Raelin, 1991, p. 186). This chapter present vignettes from a small sample of interviews of a group of knowledge workers – heritage managers in the UK – on their career progressions during turbulent times following global financial crisis of 2007-2008. These heritage managers began working together as advisors to a community-led heritage organisation, though their day jobs and earlier careers are in separate organisations. Each of them was interviewed twice, the first time to gain their individual perspectives on the formation of the community-led heritage organisation that they were contributing to, and the second time to explore their own career progression and how it had led them to work together. The semi-structured interviews took place in 2013 and were part of a longitudinal case study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Laws of the Knowledge Workplace: Changing Roles and the Meaning of Work in Knowledge-Intensive Environments.
Pages-
Number of pages0
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2014

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    Bowden, A., & Ciesielska, M. (2014). Accretion, angst and antidote: the transition from knowledge worker to manager in the UK heritage sector in an era of austerity. In The Laws of the Knowledge Workplace: Changing Roles and the Meaning of Work in Knowledge-Intensive Environments. (pp. -)