Learning from difference and similarity: Identities and relational reflexive learning

Nic Beech, Andrew D. Brown, Christine Coupland, Leanne Cutcher

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

4 Citations (SciVal)


Within organizations there is reciprocal interplay between identity construction and learning. Processes of learning are enabled and constrained by identity practices; concomitantly, the possibilities for learning are shaped by the identity positions available to individuals. There is a dynamic between the impositions of organizations and people’s freedom to shape their identities and learning plays a crucial role in this. Our purpose in this special issue is to contribute to the understanding of the intersection of identity work and learning as a response to experiences of being different. Experiences of difference include moving into a new role, encountering a disjuncture with others while in a role or a difference in broader life which is reacted to as if it were a problem in an organizational setting. Being different produces a variety of challenges and the papers in this special issue trace how people cope with vulnerabilities, develop resilience and often collaborate in their learning. We focus on how people reflect on their own identity and learn and how, by learning together with people who have similar experiences, micro-communities can support, develop and enhance their insight and identity-positions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-403
Number of pages11
JournalManagement Learning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • identity
  • identity work
  • learning
  • managerial identities


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