Transparency and Identity: Modeling Organizational Identity Dynamics

Mary Jo Hatch, Majken Schultz

Research output: Working paperResearch

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This paper presents a process-based theory of organizational identity dynamics. The view taken here is that organizational identity is an ongoing process that behaves like a conversation between the organizational self (as expressed by its culture) and images held by key stakeholders. This view is an extension by analogy of Mead’s social identity theory in which he posits that individual identity is born of a conversation between the “I” and the “me”. Processes linking organizational identity to culture and image (mirroring, reflecting, expressing and impressing) are described as are their inter-relationships in cycles of organizational identity construction. Interest in organizational identity is positioned with respect to recent concerns about the effects of increased levels of organizational transparency and the effects of transparency are examined as revelatory of two dysfunctions of organizational identity dynamics: organizational narcissism and loss of organizational self (or culture).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
PublisherCenter for Corporate Communication. Copenhagen Business School
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2001
SeriesCCC Working Paper


  • Organizational identity
  • Organizational image
  • Organizational narcissism
  • Organizational self
  • Transparency

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