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Lessons in Fluidity: Anonymous and the Communicative Formation of Organizational Identity


Schoeneborn, Dennis; Dobusch, Leonhard (2013). Lessons in Fluidity: Anonymous and the Communicative Formation of Organizational Identity. UZH Business Working Paper 335, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Most research on organizational identity tends to take an essentialist perspective, differentiating between an identity construed internally by members of the organization and an image construed by external actors. However, the duality of identity and image struggles with capturing more fluid, open, or partial organizational arrangements, where it is difficult to uphold this distinction. Looking at the case of the hacker collective Anonymous as an extreme example of organization, this paper proposes to adopt a communication-centered perspective in order to better understand the formation of organizational identity. Drawing on the emerging “communicative constitution of organizations” (CCO) framework, we transcend both an essentialist and a member-centered view by arguing that organizational identity is achieved through communicative events that demarcate the boundaries between actions attributed either to the organization or to the organizational environment.

Abstract

Most research on organizational identity tends to take an essentialist perspective, differentiating between an identity construed internally by members of the organization and an image construed by external actors. However, the duality of identity and image struggles with capturing more fluid, open, or partial organizational arrangements, where it is difficult to uphold this distinction. Looking at the case of the hacker collective Anonymous as an extreme example of organization, this paper proposes to adopt a communication-centered perspective in order to better understand the formation of organizational identity. Drawing on the emerging “communicative constitution of organizations” (CCO) framework, we transcend both an essentialist and a member-centered view by arguing that organizational identity is achieved through communicative events that demarcate the boundaries between actions attributed either to the organization or to the organizational environment.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:14 Jan 2014 09:38
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:21
Series Name:UZH Business Working Paper
Number of Pages:43
ISSN:2296-0422
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2283155
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:8852

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