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Exploring Organizational Identity as a Potential Process: A multiple case study on employee-oriented companies
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore organizational identity as a potential process.

 

Design/Methodology/Approach: We applied a qualitative method and followed an inductive approach that was applied to a multiple-in-depth-case study for which we conducted semi-structured interviews with 26 members of two organizations, the Swedish consulting company REACH and the Swiss digital agency WONDROUS. Following a narrative approach, both for structuring the empirical findings, as well as conducting the analysis, we used over 16 hours of interviews to create company narratives and subsequently analyzed them in multiple steps in the fashion of a narrative analysis.

 

Findings: Based on our empirical findings and the empirical analysis, we developed a conceptualization, the Flux Model. We contribute to the existing body of literature by proposing that the Flux Model visualizes the dynamics of how organizational members socially construct organizational identity on the premise of their own (self-)perceptions. By presenting the different parts of the model and their multiple layers, the process of how organizational identity is continuously becoming is illustrated.

 

Research Limitations/Implications: The scope of our study is restricted to the two case companies in question. If our abstractions from the cases in form of the Flux Model help to better understand the process of organizing, managers become liberated to make deliberate choices about their organizations’ identities. For research this means an even tighter connection to individual psychology and a deepening of the perspective that organizational identity can not only be viewed as something companies have.

 

Originality/Value: Out of skepticism towards the usefulness of viewing organizational identity as a process, we applied a symbolic interpretivist perspective and allowed for the possibility that we might not find a process after all. The primary value of this study we believe to be found in the extensive presentation of empirical data, together with our narrative analysis and our conceptual contribution (the Flux Model).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 94
Keywords [en]
Alignment, continuously becoming, dual perspective, explorative study, flux, identity as a process, narrative analysis, organizational identity, prehistory, sensegiving, sensemaking, social actor, social constructionist, symbolic interpretivism
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-39951ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20180594OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-39951DiVA, id: diva2:1214665
External cooperation
WONDROUS; REACH Consulting
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-18 Created: 2018-06-07 Last updated: 2018-06-18Bibliographically approved

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