Photo elicitation in management history: life course and identity work of former managers and workers of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV)

Mathin Biswas, Marjorie Jerrard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to demonstrate advantages of using the photo elicitation technique from sociology, ethnography and visual anthropology to management history through reference to a study of job loss within the State Electricity Commission of Victoria in the Latrobe Valley, Australia, as it was undergoing transition and privatization in the early 1990s. Design/methodology/approach: This is a methodology paper exploring photo elicitation and the theoretical perspectives of life course and identity work when applied in management history. Findings: The use of photo elicitation encouraged interview participants to share their perspectives about the common experience of job loss in an Australian regional area which gave rise to some common themes about occupational identity and the challenges of being unemployed. Social implications: After job loss, some common experiences have been found, namely, depression; drug and alcohol addiction; domestic violence and family break down; and even suicide. Originality/value: Use of photo elicitation provided the methodology and framework to undertake original research in management history in an Australian region still experiencing denidustrialization of brown coal mining and power generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-376
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Management History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2018


  • Brown coal
  • Electricity industry
  • Identity work
  • Job loss
  • Life course
  • Photo elicitation

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