Organizational Identity Theory

999 Words4 Pages
In the field of management, research on organizational identity (OI) has gained momentum over the last decade. Members’ claims, beliefs and narratives about ‘central, distinctive and enduring’ attributes of their organization (Albert and Whetten 1985) seem to be an appealing topic to both organizational theorists and behavioral experts. Organizational identity and related concepts have been used to probe various issues, including strategic decisions (e.g. Ashforth and Mael 1996; Dutton and Dukerich 1991; Gioia and Thomas 1996; Ravasi and Phillips 2011; Rindova et al. 2011), organizational change (e.g. Humphreys and Brown 2002; Kjærgaard et al. 2011; Nag et al. 2007; Ybema 2010), reactions to environmental changes (e.g. Elsbach…show more content…
Across these waves, we identify five main methods guiding the collection and the analysis of data. Second, we identify methodological issues that are central to OI research, such as how to select, among the various self-referential statements that are made by organizational members, those that can be legitimately considered evidence of OI, and whose perspective counts in gathering evidence of OI, and we compare how published studies have successfully addressed identity-specific research questions outlined above. Finally, this review of published research on OI reveals some degree of ambiguity in professed ontological assumptions and methodological choices in past research. By bringing out more clearly the paradigmatic differences that underpin these studies, and by highlighting their implications for methodological choices, we attempt to reduce uncertainty about the appropriateness of different research design for the questions being investigated. Research methods in OI studies Past research on OI indicates that most studies have adopted one of five fundamental methods, with rare exceptions adopting nonconventional procedures for data collection and analysis (e.g. Oliver…show more content…
(Brown 2009, p. 187) Conclusions The development of a field of study depends on the convergence of scholars around a set of clear and widely accepted principles for doing ‘good research’. It outlines five methods, used to varying degree of frequency in past research. A comparative analysis of how researchers use these methods helps us contextualize them within respective premises, and uncover the constructs, processes and questions that can be more appropriately investigated by each method. By doing so, we hope to make a better selection of tools for data collection and analysis, consistent with specific research interests and paradigmatic assumptions. Organizational identity researchers have already begun to acknowledge the relevance of each other’s work by citing and drawing on works from other bodies of research. A comparison of ‘best practices’ from published studies also allows us to outline possible ways to address fundamental issues in the design of OI research, and to establish the validity of researchers’
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