Guiding organizational identity through aged adolescence

Kevin Corley, Celia V. Harquail, Michael G. Pratt, Mary Ann Glynn, C. Marlene Fiol, Mary Jo Hatch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

240 Scopus citations


In this article, the authors reflect on the past two decades of research on organizational identity, looking to its history and to its future. They do not provide a review of the literature, nor do they promote a particular perspective on the concept. Instead, they advocate pluralism in studying organizational identity while encouraging clarity and transparency in the articulation of definitions and core theoretical suppositions. Believing there is no one best approach to the study of organizational identity, their intent is to establish a reference point that can orient future work on organizational identity. They focus on three questions they feel are critical: What is the nomological net that embeds organizational identity? Is organizational identity "real" (or simply metaphoric)? and How do we define and conceptualize organizational identity? Last, they try to anticipate organizational identity issues on the horizon to suggest future directions for theory and research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-99
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Organizational identity
  • Theory advancement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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