Story-dismantling, story-meandering, and story-confirming: Organizational identity work in times of public disgrace

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Abstract

This study aims to enhance our understanding of organizational identity work (OIW), building upon previous studies’ emphasis on the usefulness of understanding OIW in terms of storytelling. The paper offers an extended vocabulary for making sense of alternative narration forms. Based on an in-depth study of a humanitarian organization in Sweden, the discursive OIW struggles of employees in times of public disgrace are explored and the following conceptualizations suggested: a) Story-dismantling (attempting to deconstruct a dominant discrediting narrative). b) Story-meandering (attempting to tell a coherent counter-story but without success). c) Story-confirming (claiming that a dominant historical narrative remains valid). These concepts open up and invite considerations of uncertainty, fragmentation, fluidity, and contextuality in future studies of both organizational identity (OI) and OIW.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101105
JournalScandinavian Journal of Management
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Business Administration

Keywords

  • Disgrace
  • Humanitarian organization
  • Narrative perspective
  • Organizational identity
  • Organizational identity work
  • Storytelling

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