Mediating Identity: A Study of Media Influence on Organizational Identity Construction in a Celebrity Firm

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    This paper reports a longitudinal field study on the effects of positive media coverage on the reconstruction of organizational identity. The study highlights how intense positive coverage – to the point of turning an organization into a ‘celebrity’– influences both the way members understand their organization (sensemaking effect) and the gratification they derive from its positive representation (self-enhancement effect). Our findings suggest that positive media representations foster members' alignment around an emergent new understanding of what their organization is. Over time, however, celebrity may ‘captivate’ members' organizational identity beliefs and understandings, and impede further identity work as media persist in the replication of representations that differ from members' experienced reality, but are too appealing to them to be publicly contradicted.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Management Studies
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)514-543
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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