The process of becoming a manager
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of how managers experience the transition into their first manager position. Through this study, we will explore how organizational-established resources influence the transition, as well as evaluate these resources through the lens of organizational control and identity regulation. Methodology: This thesis follows a qualitative research method and is based on interpretive research traditions. The study comprises a case study of a single organization and follows an abductive research approach. The empirical data is generated through semi-structured interviews of managers in their first middle manager position, as well as observations of an internal manager training program. The study adopts a processual view, examining the idea of managerial identities as constantly emerging. Drawing from the identity literature and process theory, the study examines the process of becoming a manager and explores the connection between career transitions and engagement in identity work by focusing on the influence of organizational-established initiatives and resources. Our findings reveal that career transitions toward a manager role can be regarded as a fluid process of "becoming" which at times is characterized by an ambiguous state of in-between in which managers experience identity struggles. We identified two organizational-established resources to be influential in the process of becoming a manager; the company’s internal manager training program as well as the concept of an integrated management development practice in which managers are gradually introduced to the managerial position. Furthermore, our findings indicate that employees do not necessarily have to be seen as victims of organizational control, as certain control mechanisms can be perceived as providing a stable and protective dimension to the ambiguous state of being in-between when transitioning to a manager role.
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