The Identity Quest of Digital Nomads: A Conceptual Framework of the Professional Identity Construction Process of Digital Nomads

Charlotte Christina Heuser & Kristina Marie Reintjes

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


The aim of this thesis is to combine existing academic literature streams of professional identity construction with the newly emerging group of independent workers, namely digital nomads. In order to develop a conceptual understanding of the professional identity construction process of digital nomads, a qualitative research approach is guiding this thesis. We conducted 15 interviews with individuals that identify themselves with digital nomadism. This thesis proposes a framework conceptualizing digital nomads’ working and living in a constantly changing environment, coined by the absence of organizational boundaries. The analysis of the gathered data shows that digital nomads, driven by their desire for freedom, aim to be their own master in the daily life in relation to both work and non-work-related situations. However, the findings suggest that they simultaneously strive for stability in their lives, which is reflected in the idea of anchoring. Digital nomads anchor to the community they surround themselves by, a home base, or a newly created system. Between and within the two pillars freedom and anchor, tensions arise that influence the individual quest for professional identity. The concurrent desire for both freedom and stability leads to paradoxical tensions, as will be further discussed within the course of the thesis, in which we propose mechanisms to balance these tensions in order to remain active in the digital nomad lifestyle.

UddannelserCand.merc.sol Strategy, Organization and Leadership, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider118
VejledereMari-Klara Stein