||This research endeavors to identify the career or entrepreneurial stories of four work–related professionals, including a curtain company’s(S) manager, the manager’s ex–wife, one of its employees, and a client. By applying a qualitatively in–depth interview approach, the research explores the life story and self–identity process of these professionals.|
The theoretical bases of this research include the Hero’s Journey and the theory of Archetype. The concept of narrative analysis and life–story narrative have attracted significant attention in the line of social science research in recent years, in which researchers have put great efforts to collect personal life–stories via an interview approach to understand how individuals build self–identity. Conversely, the Hero’s Journey perspective is about the process of life transformation. Through the three stages of departure, enlightenment and return, one can explore how an individual transforms from an ordinary person to a hero and also learn about the hero’s wisdom during the journey.
The research has some theoretical implications. First of all, the research finds that interviewees’ life–stories are largely consistent with the pattern of hero’s journey. Nonetheless, individuals may not experience a complete hero’s journey, and the stages they experienced are not totally compatible with the proposed sequence of departure, enlightenment and return. What matters most is that how individuals experience self–change and build self–identity during the journey. Second, the research also finds that different person’ hero’s journey will influence each other by playing various heroic archetypes.
In terms of practical implications, the study finds that managers should not only follow the Chinese “middle–way” but also look into the nature of phenomenon and then use political power to accomplish tasks. If one wants to become a good leader, it’s better for him/her to be an employee first and thus he/she can know employees’ real needs. Moreover, the study finds that treating customers and suppliers as friends is truly important in managing traditional industries. In doing so, mutual trust can be developed, which is conducive in gaining long–term support from a company’s supply chain partners.