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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The article has four main parts. First, it introduces some context on James and his work, points to strands of influence on organization studies, and discusses how his conceptions of self were shaped by historical circumstances and personal experiences. Second, it briefly overviews key tenets of organizational identity theory and argues that it has been predominantly focused on the equivalence of what James called ‘self-as-object’. Third, it gives a treatment of what James meant by ‘self-as-subject’ and how that may be understood as collective processes of authoring, rooted in practice. Finally, it discusses two sets of the implications that follow from James's view of self: bringing identity into organizational practice and into social change.

Keywords: organization studies, organizational practice, social change, self-as-subject, organizational identity, personal experiences

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