Unit 3

Identity in work & society

What can identity be in a World that is in flux and global. What is your identity? Is it just your identity card or is it more than that? Which identity matters and when?  Identity becomes an increasingly important topic in political discussions but also in organizations and commercial communications (branding!). Societies are in search of identity and so are organizations. Corporate mission statements are an attempt to define one’s identity. Identity is connected with the notion of culture. What if cultures are ill defined? How about identity in a multicultural society? The issue of identity allows us to explore topics in various contexts. We will explore contemporary art, literature, politics, economics and organization on individual self-construction. In addition we will consult some classical and literary texts to see how we can explore our own identity. This course will be therefore both a self-exploration as an exploration of a navigation exercise in contemporary cultural and political trends.  


Arjo Klamer is professor of the Economics of Art and Culture at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and holds the world's only chair in the field of cultural economics. Prior to that and after acquiring his PhD at Duke University, he taught for many years at several universities in the US, including Wellesley College and George Washington University.

In 1984, he attracted a great deal of attention with his Conversations with Economists. In his latest book, Speaking of Economics (Routledge, 2007), he pursues themes that emerged from that book. He has collaborated with Deirdre McCloskey to promote the rhetorical perspective on economics. The Economic Conversation, a textbook forthcoming in 2008 (Palgrave)and co-authored with McCloskey and Stephen Ziliak employs a groundbreaking "open-method" approach to teaching first-year micro- and macroeconomics.

His current research focuses on the cultural dimension of economic life and the values of art.  

Prof. dr Slawomir J. Magala  is currently holding a chair in cross-cultural management at the Rotterdam School of Management of Erasmus University Rotterdam and chairs a department of organization and personnel management there. His recent interests include the comparative studies of cultural values with focus on global management training programs within the network of research communities linked to the standing Conference on Management and Organization Inquiry (sc'MOI) and to the International Academy of Management (where he is a co-author and co-editor of the Charles Wankel project book on contemporary management within the framework of MTC - Management Through Collaboration). He has recently published "The Management of Meaning in Organizations" rehearsing for the role of a public intellectual and started working on the cross-cultural competence in management and on cultural contents as communication commodities in multimedia telecommunications.