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Organization Theory in Business and Management History: Present Status and Future Prospects

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mairi Maclean, Professor Charles Harvey, Professor Stewart Clegg



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Cambridge University Press, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Increasing global mobility has prompted a record number of talented individuals to relocate to other countries on their own initiative to pursue a career. Despite growing interest in the careers of self-initiated expatriate (SIEs), we know little about their experiences in accessing professional occupations. Drawingon the discursive practice turn in social theory, we examine the career journeys of skilled West African SIEs based in the UK. We unpack specific transient moments of their journeys through the lens of ‘microstoria’: the creation and sharing of contemporaneous storylines. These reveal a high degree of agency on the part of SIEs, whose ‘way-finding’ practices are characterized byfour distinct, but durationally indivisible transitional phases (which we call ‘Johnny just come’, toe-holding, enrichment-in-practice, and the puissance-lap). Our study provides insight into the subjective career experiences of SIEs, their resourcefulness and perseverance, as they encounter everyday challenges while striving to forge a professional career.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Maclean M, Harvey C, Clegg S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Business History Review

Year: 2017

Volume: 91

Issue: 3

Pages: 457-481

Print publication date: 11/10/2017

Online publication date: 15/08/2017

Acceptance date: 23/01/2017

Date deposited: 25/01/2017

ISSN (print): 0007-6805

ISSN (electronic): 2044-768X

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0007680517001027


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