JOHNSON, D. and HUGHES, M., 2018. The nature and manifestation of identity tension in England’s National Health Service. Presented at the 34th EGOS Colloquium: Surprise in and around Organizations: Journeys to the Unexpected, Tallinn, Estonia, July 5–7th.
This paper critically examines identity tension in the National Health Service (NHS) and the associated consequences of inauthenticity, lack of credibility, and low self-efficacy. Data from 60 interviews with staff from a large acute care hospital (hereafter, Large East Midlands Trust (LEMT)) within England’s NHS was collected. Analysis revealed that inauthenticity, lack of credibility, and lower perceived self-efficacy are components of identity tension that staff experience as they face the bidirectional pressure exerted on their professional and NHS identities by the demand to engage in entrepreneurial activities. This research is the first to tease out the specific aspects of identity tension that individuals experience in their multiple social identities in response to change in their organisational context. In doing so we contribute to the conference sub-theme: identity and change- how ‘who we are’ influences how we drive or cope with the unexpected.