Danish retail banking is characterized by a role conflict between sales and advice. Through the lens of identity work, this study explores how bankers negotiate this conflict by seeking to make sense of themselves and justify the work that they do. We show that bankers are keenly aware of the role conflicts they face in doing their jobs, but they also discover ways of making these conflicts meaningfully productive for themselves, their employers, and their customers. To explain these findings, we introduce Hartmut Rosa’s concept of resonance, provisionally understood as a processual and relational conceptualization of well-being. This leads to a conceptualization of bankers’ identity work of managing the sales–advice tension as striving for professional resonance, the attainment of which is possible through three strategies: an advice orientation, which can be understood as a protection of resonance; a sale orientation, which relies on a promise of resonance; and an integration of sales and advice, which can be seen as an incorporation of resonance. Following the analysis, the normativity of resonance theory is leveraged in a critical discussion of the identified strategies of professional resonance, and the potential implications for well-being research and human resource management practices are considered.
|International Journal of Human Resource Management
|Number of pages
|Published - Feb 2024
Bibliographical notePublished online: 10 August 2023.
- Identity work
- Retail banking
- Role conflict
- Role stress