Key Issues in Organizational Identity and Identification Theory

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The constructs of organizational identity and identification are attracting greater and greater recognition among scholars and practitioners. An increasing number of researchers in organizational behavior, organizational theory and strategic management are turning to these concepts to improve their understanding of the behavior of organizations and their members. In May 2002, David Whetten and Cees van Riel invited a group of researchers to a workshop in order to take stock of the current state of the field and to discuss future directions. This paper summarizes the fundamental issues discussed at that meeting: the various intellectual roots of organizational identity and identification theory, the interplay between different levels of analysis, the conceptualization of organizational identity, its measurement, and finally, its relevance. Identity appears a promising concept to bridge different levels of analysis, and to analyze apparent paradoxes that arise when organizations confront simultaneous pressures for similarity and uniqueness, sameness and differentiation.Corporate Reputation Review (2003) 6, 118–132; doi:10.1057/palgrave.crr.1540194

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: 1Istituto di Strategia ed Economia Aziendale, Universit√† Commerciale, ‘L. Bocconi’, Italy 2: 2Faculteit Bedrijfskunde, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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