Managerial identity development across the age-spectrum from an ideal self and values-perspective
Journal of Management Development,
<b>Purpose</b><br>The purpose of this study is to investigate professional identity development among management professionals through the lens of the ideal self and personal values.<br><br><b>Design/methodology/approach</b><br>Detailed career vision essays based on the ideal self and personal values of 48 participants ranging in age from 22 to 54 were analyzed using an inductive thematic analysis. A theory-based classification of their personal values, collected through a survey, was also conducted as a supplemental analysis.<br><br><b>Findings</b><br>The visions of older management professionals were less career-oriented, more holistic, involved in a greater multiplicity of career roles, had more clarity and placed higher emphasis on work–life balance and on developing others. The older participants also reported having fewer self-enhancement values.<br><br><b>Originality/value</b><br>The findings demonstrate the relevance of the ideal self as a lens to study identity development and advance our understanding of professional identity development in the context of modern careers.