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Abstract and Keywords

The existing literature offers divergent perspectives on the intersection between organizational identity (OI) and institutional forces. Some studies suggest that OI is socially constructed by organizational members, while others describe OI as highly constrained by institutional forces. Still others imply that OI serves as a filter influencing how members interpret institutional forces. We review and strive to integrate these varied perspectives. To do so, we distinguish between the content and structure of both OI and institutional forces. We suggest that the degree to which the content of institutional forces influences the content of OI resides along a continuum between institutional constraint and member agency. Further, we suggest that structural features of OI and institutional forces may act as filters that influence where along this continuum OI construction falls. Beyond integrating existing literature, this approach opens up new directions for research at the intersection of OI and institutional theory.

Keywords: organizational identity, institutional theory, institutional forces, agency, constraint, social construction

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