This investigation of the fundamental character of organizational identity and identification with an organization is arranged in the form of a provocative discussion between key scholars. The book focuses on three different paradigmatic views of identity: functionalist, interpretive and postmodern. Similarities and distinctions among these ways of understanding are explored, and numerous theoretical and practical insights are gained. The book concludes with a discussion of the relevance of identity as a construct in organizational study, and observations on conversation and theory building.
Chapter 3: The Identity of Organizations
The Identity of Organizations
We begin our conversation within the context of Albert and Whetten's (1985) definition of organizational identity as that which members believe to be central, enduring, and distinctive about their organization. Although these key elements of the definition arguably have some conceptual limitations under some conditions (e.g., strategic change), this definition gives us a good first approximation and a good point of departure for a conversation that further explores the identity of organizations. To begin, we would like to examine a number of issues pertaining to the character and definition of organizational ...