Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Management, Marketing and Employment Relations


During 1997 and 1998 I conducted ethnographic field work in a small firm in the UK called Fenderco. The analysis presented in this thesis examines its two owner managers/ entrepreneurs, Paul and John, and how they construct, maintain, consolidate and otherwise fluently express their self-identities. This thesis emphasises the manner in which Paul and John craft their self-identities through their ability to make narratives of the events and experiences of their lives and transform them into those episodic and themed narratives. Their narratives are also created within and via certain social and narrative contexts. This thesis analyses four of these contexts - narrative/language itself, temporality, spatiality, and relationality - via the use of specific examples from the research. Thus, the manner in which Paul and John use entrepreneurial cliches, their talk of generational encounters, their talk and use of the spatial locale, and talk of their friendship to each other and others in that locale, are analysed in four separate, empirical chapters. The thesis thus contributes to and clarifies the vocabulary and theory that is used to discuss self-identity in the sociology of work and organisations.