Corporate and Organizational Identities: Integrating Strategy, Marketing, Communication, and Organizational Perspectives

Corporate and Organizational Identities: Integrating Strategy, Marketing, Communication, and Organizational Perspectives

Corporate and Organizational Identities: Integrating Strategy, Marketing, Communication, and Organizational Perspectives

Corporate and Organizational Identities: Integrating Strategy, Marketing, Communication, and Organizational Perspectives

Synopsis

Bringing together perspectives from various management disciplines, this volume is devoted to an issue of increasing importance in management theory and practice - organizational identity.

Excerpt

What makes great organizations “tick”? Why do some organizations enjoy enduring success while others stumble and fail? For years managers and researchers have struggled to find recipes for combining human and organizational ingredients to produce efficiency, productivity, profitability, and morale. The result has been a wide-ranging mix of theoretical frameworks at both the micro and macro levels, each of which points to those distinctive features of organizations without which performance could not result.

At the micro level, the stress is invariably put on the systemic interaction between the structural features of an organization and its socio-cultural features. Favorable outcomes result when managers create structures that induce employees to attach themselves to the organization. Strong attachments produce identification and commitment, stimulate creativity and productivity, and so contribute heavily to organizational performance.

At the macro level, the emphasis is generally placed on the strategic positioning of the organization in an institutional field. Favorable outcomes result when managers convince resourceholders such as consumers and investors to buy their products and invest in their shares. Strong endorsements by these stakeholders (and by powerful intermediaries like media journalists and financial analysts) enhance the organization’s future prospects.

Both sets of theories clearly share a common interest in claiming that individual perceptions and interpretations are central to explaining patterns of organizational performance. Strategically, they justify managers’ search for ways to strengthen employee identification with the company. They also legitimate managers’ efforts to project attractive features of their organizations to external groups in order to generate favorable appraisals of their prospects.

In their 1996 best-selling book, Built to Last, authors Jim Collins and Jerry Porras demonstrated the importance of such perceptions and interpretations in their comparative study of some long-lived companies. They showed how IBM, Xerox, Kodak, and others succeeded in building enduring businesses where arch-rivals had failed because they were able to develop strong ideologies over the years that (1) were deeply embedded in their corporate cultures and (2) became widely regarded on the outside.

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