The bored self in knowledge work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article draws attention to reported experiences of boredom in knowledge work. Drawing on extensive qualitative data gathered at two management consultancy firms, we analyze these experiences as a particular interaction with identity regulation and work experiences. We conceptualize the reports of the bored self as a combination of unfilled aspirations and the sense of stagnation, leading to an arrested identity. Our contribution is to expand extant conceptualizations of employee interactions with identity regulation, in particular relating to identity work and identification. The findings provide a critical rendering of the glamourized image of knowledge work.


External organisations
  • European University Viadrina
  • Copenhagen Business School
  • Royal Holloway University of London
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration


  • boredom, identity regulation, identity work, knowledge work
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-83
Number of pages23
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes