Reflexive practice and the making of elite business careers
This paper develops a new perspective on reflexive practice in the making of elite business careers. It builds upon Bourdieu’s practice framework to examine how business leaders from elite and non-elite backgrounds develop and practice reflexivity in their everyday lives. The paper draws upon in-depth life-history interviews with members of the British business elite. Elites exhibited five types of reflexive behaviour, from which two modes of reflexive practice were derived: an accumulative mode, through which business leaders reflexively accumulate capital, positions and perspectives; and a re-constructive mode, through which they re-constitute the self in response to contingences, contexts and insights gathered. Our analysis suggests a link between reflexivity and career advancement, particularly in the case of non-privileged elites. Their greater experience of navigating the social landscape may facilitate perspective-taking, enhancing multipositionality, enabling such individuals to seize opportunities previously unthinkable.
Post-print version. Final version published by Sage; available online at http://mlq.sagepub.com/
Vol. 43, Issue 4, pp. 385 - 404
Place of publication