Captured by the Image in the Mirror: A Longitudinal Study of Corporate and Organisational Identity Dynamics

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    Abstract

    Research on identity has raised attention to the importance for managers to align corporate and organisational identity, and to express those identity features that are central, distinct andenduring to strengthen corporate image and reputation among a variety of stakeholders.Drawing from an extensive data collection from two longitudinal studies in the same organisation, Oticon A/S, this study challenges the advantage of an enduring corporate identity by exploring how the dynamics between an organisation's corporate identity and its organisational identity unfolded over time. Following a grounded theoretical approach, a process model is developed to show how the strong corporate identity fluctuated from being productive for the alignment of organisational identity and member identification to being counterproductive during a period of ten years. The paper discusses the implications of endurance of a strong corporate identity, and contrary to prior research we suggest that a strong corporate identity may result in member disidentification. We also suggest that a strong enduring corporate identity may impede organisational development, because top management will disappoint external and internal audiences if a corporate identity change is suggested. The paper concludes by encouraging more longitudinal research to advance knowledge about the complex dynamics of interplay betweencorporate and organisational identity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
    Number of pages37
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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