Weathering a meta-level identity crisis: Forging a coherent collective identity for an emerging field

Shubha D. Patvardhan, Dennis A. Gioia, Aimee L. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

We employed a longitudinal, grounded-theory approach to investigate the occurrence of an identity crisis in an emerging collective of organizations attempting to form a new academic field. The findings indicate that legacy identities and the nested structure of such organizations have implications for the formation of identity at this level. Specifically, the co-evolution of organization-level and collective-level identities, and the interdependencies between the levels, rendered the collective identity formation process as multiphased, complex, contentious, and continuously precarious - ultimately leading to an identity crisis that was resolved not by arriving at a "consensual identity," but, rather, a "coherent identity." The findings contribute to the nascent stream of literature on collective identity beyond the organizational level by explicating identity-work processes involved in the precipitation, manifestation, and resolution of an identity crisis in an emerging field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-435
Number of pages31
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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