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date: 30 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on national identity in and around multinational corporations (MNCs). The authors offer three conceptualizations of national identity and demonstrate how it may be studied in MNCs. First, they argue that organizational actors (re)construct their national identities via references to, and associations with, particular ideologies and worldviews. These are rigid constructions, which are deeply rooted in actors’ place in and fundamental views about the world. Second, national identity is (re)constructed through group-level relations vis-à-vis relevant ‘others’ in the specific organizational context. Such constructions are relatively stable but they are relational in the sense that they are rooted in actors’ identification with their cultural group. Finally, national identities are (re)constructed by organizational actors through mundane everyday relations and interaction. These are fluid and temporary constructions contingent on the immediate interests of those involved and the social dynamics of specific interactions. Based on their conceptualization, the authors outline avenues for future research to understand better the changing roles and implications of national identity in modern organizations.

Keywords: identity, national identity, conceptualization, multinational corporations, ideology

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