From cruise director to rabbi

Authoring the agentic self through conventions of narrative necessity

Jaco Lok, W. E. Douglas Creed, Rich Dejordy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


The concept of (self-)identity has become increasingly central to institutional theory’s microfoundations, yet remains relatively underdeveloped. In this chapter, the authors use an autobiographical interview with a gay Protestant minister in the US to explore the role of narrative conventions in the construction of self-identity. The analysis of this chapter offers the basis for a new understanding of the relation between institutions, self-identity, and agency: how we agentically engage institutions depends not only on who we narrate ourselves to be, but also on how we narrate ourselves into being. This suggests that narration as a specific modality of micro-institutional processes has important performative effects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrofoundations of institutions
EditorsPatrick Haack, Jost Sieweke, Lauri Wessel
Place of PublicationBingley, UK
PublisherEmerald Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781787691278, 9781787691292
ISBN (Print)9781787691285
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
PublisherEmerald Publishing
ISSN (Print)0733-558X


  • Institutional theory
  • self-identity
  • agency
  • narrative
  • sensemaking
  • GLBT

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