Expectations of Consistency in Organizational Life: Stories of Inconsistency from People with Unseen Chronic Illness

  • Margaret H. Vickers


This paper commences by considering that the current global climate of terrorism and human suffering demands a more critical consideration of flawed expectations. Addressed here is the flawed expectation of consistency in organizational life. Work life narratives from people with unseen chronic illness, that is, illness that is ongoing, may not be treatable or curable, and cannot be “seen” by colleagues, are considered to portray the problematic outcomes of expectations of consistency. Respondents of this phenomenological study demonstrate that expectations of consistency, from themselves and others, were unreasonable as their responses to situations and their illness demands varied from day to day and minute to minute—a problem for one working in the “rational” workplace. What is concluded is that recognition of the postmodern perspective, especially its appreciation of the multiphrenic qualities in these peoples lives, may assist understanding of these people's experiences, as well as the experiences of other traumatized individuals. Adherence to flawed expectations may make things worse.

employment chronic illness narrative case study human resources 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret H. Vickers
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Management, College of Law and BusinessUniversity of Western SydneyPenrith South DCAustralia

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