To convey its identity to the world, however, the organization must first establish its own firm sense of who “we” are. And because “we” means everyone, then organizational identity is not just a corporate matter to be decided by management. To carry off its corporate image, individual organization members—from executives to employees—must buy into and identify with the organization.
- 7.1: Introduction to Organizational Identity and Diversity
- In this chapter, then, we have paired identity and diversity as two aspects of organizational life that exist in a tension which must be successfully balanced. This is true for leaders who must manage public impressions about the organization and, simultaneously, who must manage employees so that they identity sufficiently with the organization to support the desired corporate identity. But this need to manage the tension between identity and diversity is also true for individual organization me
- 7.2: Identity and the Organization
- Because it raises questions of ontology, epistemology and axiology, the concept of identity evokes debate among organizational communication scholars which reflects larger controversies in the field. One review noted that, while “interest in concepts of organizational identity has grown” and “the literature is expanding rapidly,” the notion “has been subjected to much scrutiny and debate, [and] definitions and conceptualizations of the topic remain essentially contested.”
- 7.3: Identity and the Organization Member
- While organizational identity may be developed by an organization, organizational identification may be developed by its members. In introducing their concept of organizational identification, Blake Ashforth and Fred Mael started with social identity theory—which holds that one’s self-concept combines a “personal identity” based on individual traits with a “social identity” based on group classifications—and originated the concept of organizational identification.
Thumbnail: Organizational Identity and Culture: Hatch & Schultz. Image used with permiussion (CC BY-SA-NC; anonymous).