Book Review: Constructing Identity in and around Organizations

constructing_identity_in_and_around_organizationsMajken Schultz, Steve Maguire, Ann Langley, and Haridimos Tsoukas, eds.: Constructing Identity in and around Organizations. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. 329 pp. $99.00, cloth.

Read the review by Kimberly D. Elsbach of the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis, published in Administrative Science Quarterly:

This edited volume challenges existing orthodoxy by defining organizational identity as a ‘‘process’’ rather than a ‘‘state.’’ That is, organizational identity is viewed as the answer to the question ‘‘How are we becoming?’’ instead of the question ‘‘Who are we?’’ This is a frame-breaking perspective and contrasts with traditional views of organizational identity as stable and ‘‘enduring’’ (Albert and Whetten, 1985). At the same time, this perspective fits with the recent work of a cadre of identity scholars who have been treading around the notion of ‘‘identity as process’’ for s55697_ASQ_v58n2_72ppiRGB_150pixWeveral years (e.g., Corley et al., 2006; Ravasi and Schultz, 2006, Gioia et al., 2010). The goal of the volume, then, is to see where this perspective of ‘‘identity as process’’ can take us if we take a forceful and deliberate stance in its support. The result is a set of theoretical and empirical chapters that show us what the future of identity research may hold.

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