Volume 14, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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While much has been written on the transition of organizational life into the New Work Order (NWO) and the effects this has had on employees in language-centered economic spaces, few studies have attempted to tease out how these NWO-expectations have affected less language-centered workplaces. In this article, I focus on such a workplace, namely a medical lab, and I tease out processes of what I call ‘identity gatekeeping’. With this term I refer to the fact that NWO-employees are expected to be knowledge-workers whose identities need to be aligned with organizational expectations. As such, these identities become a crucial object of intra-organizational gatekeeping. Focusing on three performance appraisal interviews and using a social-realist discourse-analytical approach, I demonstrate how the superior’s interactional identity negotiations either mold or silence dissident identities depending on the employee’s future professional aspirations. Finally, the implications of these interactional negotiation processes for NWO-ways of working are discussed.


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