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date: 07 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter offers a critique of the concept of organizational identity (OI), challenging some basic assumptions and knowledge claims surrounding OI from a Critical Management Studies (CMS) perspective. We start by considering the taken-for-granted idea that OI is pre-given. We then consider the assumptions surrounding the inter-relationship between OI, employee identification, and organizational image, and suggest alternative ideas. We then challenge what we see as the reification in OI thinking, and point at the neglect of power in the field. We further discuss the remarkable similarities between aspects of OI research and studies of organizational culture, and argue that OI should take this work more seriously. Throughout, we advocate adopting a process perspective on OI in order to acknowledge the complexity of contemporary organizational life, and we conclude by offering suggestions regarding further developments in this area.

Keywords: CMS, Critical Management Studies, identity, culture, power, process, reification

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