Relational Self-Confidence: a Human Resources Executive Perspective on Power Group Influences and the De-centering of the Self
This thesis develops the concept of relational self-confidence. In psychological and managerial research, self-confidence, and other related concepts: self-efficacy; self-esteem; organisation-based self-esteem (Bandura, 1986; Rogers, 1961; Rosenberg 1965; Korman 1976; Pierce et al 1989) are examined from the perspective of their impact on organisations. The literature emphasises antecedents and consequences that can improve organisational operational parameters such as motivation levels, attrition, etc. (Hebert et al., 2014). Research shows that high self-confidence levels correlate with increased engagement, motivation, and inclination to stay in the organisation (Pierce & Gardner,2004; Bowling 2010), yet only scant research on the reasons and underlying processes related to fluctuations in self-confidence has been conducted. The current research, by means of a reflexive collaborative autoethnography, offers a qualitative exploration into the complexity of self-confidence, and argues that, although personal history, cultural background and individual sensitivities influence self-confidence, it is essentially a dynamic relational phenomenon, that is negotiated among people at work. In each conversational gesture, every individual’s self-confidence is influenced by the exchange, stemming from patterns of power relations (Elias, 2001), recognition gestures (Honneth, 1995) and people’s personal identities and needs at a given moment (Marris, 1996). Since relational self-confidence is interrelated with existing power structures at work in complex ways, minorities may be more prone to reduced self-confidence. For example, in male dominated organisations, women are more likely than men to interpret relational power gestures personally, potentially contributing to decreases in their self-confidence at work (Kanter, 1987; Alvesson & Due Billing, 2009). Reflexive practices (Alvesson & Skolberg, 2018) can help build awareness of the intricacies of power relations between people in day-to-day work engagements. Through reflexivity, we may be able to de-center the self through a rigorous examination of our own thought collectives and ideas and by noticing the influence of intense power relations at work. Reflexivity may support increased self-confidence, greater emotional balance, and longevity in organisations in general, and in people belonging to minority groups in particular.
MetadataShow full item record
The following license files are associated with this item: