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Update and new paper “Reconstructing Retirement as an Enterprising Endeavor” in @JMgmt_Inquiry

by on December 17, 2018

We’ve been very quiet on this blog and its related twitter account this year. We have been busy!

The BIG news is that Katrina is now Professor Katrina Pritchard in the School of Management at Swansea University. Many congratulations to her on this very well deserved promotion. We have come quite a long way from when this project started. I was a part-time PhD student and research assistant and Katrina was a junior lecturer, both of us in the Department of Organizational Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London.

Right at the end of 2017 (so near the end in fact that we didn’t see the published volumes till early 2018) we published two chapters in the The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Business and Management Research Methods, one on digital ethics and the other on analysing web images. Full details on our Publications tab on this blog. And do contact us if you would like copies of either chapter.

And following a similar pattern in 2018, we are delighted to announce that we have a new publication that has just appeared in the Journal of Management Inquiry. Entitled ‘Reconstructing Retirement as an Enterprising Endeavor’, this is the link, and we have arranged for the paper to be openly available for download for a couple of weeks (linked to a short introductory piece we have written for the Sage Business and Management Ink website). We’ll post details of when this is live as soon as we have them. In the meantime, the abstract of the paper is as follows:

This article explores issues of age and enterprise in later life as manifested in tensions between retiree and entrepreneurial identities. We utilize the concept of a discursive event to examine time-bound online data, specifically media texts and reader comments associated with the online news coverage of an insurance company report. This report introduced the label Weary to describe “working entrepreneurial and active retirees.” Our analysis shows how keeping healthy and active are constructed as insufficient markers of a productive and successful older age. These markers are supplanted by a neoliberal discourse that prioritizes enterprise and economic productivity in retirement. However, the Weary subject position has implications within this discourse that constrain the valued contribution of older adults to productive work yet deny access to this group to entrepreneurial endeavors. This highlights the destabilization of retirement and critical tensions in its discursive reconceptualization as a period of entrepreneurial endeavor.

We have also been contracted by Sage to write a book about the qualitative internet methodology we have used in this project.  It will be part of the excellent Mastering Business Research Methods Series conceived and edited by Bill Lee, Mark N. K. Saunders and Vadake K. Narayanan. The series is designed to support researchers by providing in-depth and practical guidance on using a chosen method of data collection or analysis.  Our book is due to be published in 2020.

In the meantime, we are looking forward to more Age at Work in 2019. All best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

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