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Organizational identity work - its narratives and practices: working towards a desired identity

Pleser, Anna Maria, Garcia-Lorenzo, Lucia and Whitelaw, Lisa Anne (2018) Organizational identity work - its narratives and practices: working towards a desired identity. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2018 (1). ISSN 0065-0668

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Identification Number: 10.5465/AMBPP.2018.18278abstract


How do organizations engage in organizational identity work and how does organizational identity work emerge in daily activities, when organizations are confronted with market pressures, forcing them to internally question taken for granted sets of beliefs, values and structures. We explore this process within a private healthcare provider in the United Kingdom, from a perspective of organizational identity work and practice theory. We investigate how Health Corp experiments with two organizational integration initiatives driven by contextual pressures within the healthcare industry. Our single case study captures the transitional state between past and future organizational identity beliefs following a number of strategic acquisitions. We draw on a longitudinal qualitative case study, over a period of four years. Our analysis illustrates that the organization failed with its first integration initiative, yet the initiative helped to show that organizational members did not know ‘who we are’ and ‘what we stand for’. The second initiative also failed, due to its top-down nature and the lasting confusion about ‘who we are’. Only with the introduction of integrative products, the organization developed a new identity narrative, representing ‘who we are’ and ‘who we want to be’ in the future.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Academy of Management
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2018 15:57
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2021 23:05

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