Browsing School of Social Work by Title "Occupational stories"
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Truth and fiction in occupational stories: The case of the troubled supervisorOccupational stories are crucial building blocks for emergent occupations. This paper argues that the employee assistance workers developed the story of troubled supervisors in the seventies as a mechanism for explaining to themselves, as well as management and labor, their role in employee assistance programs. These stories claim that supervisors are too troubled to perform their roles within employee assistance and that employee assistance workers must counsel them before they will confront troubled employees and refer them to the program for help. Drawing on a national sample from one corporate EAP, we illustrate the extent to which supervisors are troubled about their role and identify the factors which predict whether or not supervisors are troubled. The data suggest that relatively few employees are troubled about their role in EAPs. Implications of these findings for employee assistance work are discussed.