Identity ambiguity and change in the wake of a corporate spin-off

Kevin G. Corley, Dennis Arnold Gioia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

757 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report on the findings of an inductive, interpretive case study of organizational identity change in the spinoff of a Fortune 100 company's top-performing organizational unit into an independent organization. We examined the processes by which the labels and meanings associated with the organization's identity underwent changes during and after the spin-off, as well as how the organization responded to these changes. The emergent model of identity change revolved around a collective state of identity ambiguity, the details of which provide insight into processes whereby organizational identity change can occur. Additionally, our findings revealed previously unreported aspects of organizational change, including organization members' collective experience of "change overload" and the presence of temporal identity discrepancies in the emergence of the identity ambiguity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-208
Number of pages36
JournalAdministrative science quarterly
Volume49
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004

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spin-off
organization
Labels
organizational unit
organizational change
Spin-off
Industry

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

Cite this

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Identity ambiguity and change in the wake of a corporate spin-off. / Corley, Kevin G.; Gioia, Dennis Arnold.

In: Administrative science quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 2, 01.06.2004, p. 173-208.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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