Fictional Narrative Experiences and Career Identity: How Stories Influence the Dialogical Work Self

Inge Brokerhof, Matthijs Bal, Daniel Petri

Research output: Contribution to JournalMeeting AbstractAcademic


This study explores the influence of fictional narrative experiences, such as reading books or watching movies or television series, on career identity. To explore this relationship, 20 semi-structured interviews were conducted with young professionals from a variety of work disciplines and 200 students wrote micro-narratives in a survey. Fictional narratives affected career identity through a personal, cultural and reflective pathway. Fictional narrative experienced appeared to be embedded in people’s personal narrative repertoire - the body of narratives they experienced in the past, and in their cultural narrative repertoire, containing narrative experiences as reflected by an individual’s social environment. Influences on the impact of narrative experience were emotional transportation, identification with the characters and verisimilitude or realness of the narrative. This study contributes to the field of narrative impact and careers research by exploring how books, movies and television series can influence career identity, showing that there are different pathways in which narratives influence career identity, that narrative experiences do not operate in a vacuum but are embedded in a larger personal and cultural narrative repertoire and that narrative experiences create opportunities for identity play, whereby people can experiment with different career identities."
Original languageEnglish
Article number20136
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020
EventAcademy of Management - Virtual
Duration: 8 Aug 202012 Aug 2020


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