This study explores notions of calling in management careers in faith-based and religious organisations. What are the similarities and differences between managers’ understanding of their work as a calling in these two types of organisation? How do they negotiate calling in their work? We use interview data from nine middle managers in a faith-based hospital and nine deans in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Norway. The article builds on cross-disciplinary literature on calling in working life. We theorise, by using comparisons, how notions of calling are resources for managers when they negotiate identity. Our findings show that the hospital managers respond to the modern meaning-making calling as emanating from within and outside, while the deans also experience the traditional religious calling from above. Such notions blend in our conceptualisation of calling as pluralistic, biographical and present-oriented. Both categories of managers report that their transition into management is guided by an orientation to serve and to promote organisational mission and values.

Keywords: Calling, identity work, managers, professionals, faith-based