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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Identity dynamics in organizations have been associated with critical organizing processes and outcomes, especially those that centre on attachment and conflict/cooperation. As such, a deeper understanding of identity dynamics may help us better understand how organizations function (and malfunction), and ideally help us make organizations better places to work. This chapter briefly reviews where identity research has been and where it is now. The bulk of the chapter suggests three paths or ways to move forward in our research: (1) moving towards fuller (versus relatively ‘empty’) conceptualizations of identity; (2) moving towards wholes versus parts in identity dynamics; and (3) moving towards viewing ‘identity in ensemble’ rather than ‘identity as star’. Each movement suggests a richer and deeper understanding of identity, providing the requisite variety necessary to tackle better core organizational problems.

Keywords: identity, identification, identity construction/work, intractable identity conflicts, attachment, conflict/cooperation

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