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date: 15 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter we propose that organizational identities—particularly organizational selves (Pratt and Kraatz, 2011)—are socially constructed in the service of personal identity projects. Building on institutional theory, we propose institutional inhabitants facing the myriad pressures associated with institutional pluralism respond with agency, socially constructing selves for organizations and appropriating them, through affiliation, as a resource in resolving those pressures in their personal identity projects. We then interrogate how and when this perspective may effect change in organizational identities and selves. We close the chapter by showing how this perspective applies in the comparison of three organizations existing in the same institutional environment and discussing implications of this perspective for future research on organizational identity.

Keywords: institutional theory, institutional inhabitants, personal identity, agency, change

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