Rethinking Identity Construction Processes in Organizations: Three Questions to Consider<sup>1</sup>

Michael G. Pratt

in Constructing Identity in and around Organizations

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199640997
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738388 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives on Process Organization Studies

Rethinking Identity Construction Processes in Organizations: Three Questions to Consider1

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While an exciting stream of research on identity construction processes in and around organizations has emerged in organizational studies, it may be time to reflect on our current progress to ensure that we are not closing off some avenues for inquiry prematurely. In reflecting upon the field, I address three questions: (a) Can we meaningfully talk about identity and process? (b) If we can meaningfully talk about identity and process, how should we talk about them? (c) If we know how to talk about identity and process, what might be missing from the conversations we are currently having? In addressing these questions, I examine the degree to which identity is amenable to process theorizing, I explore the language we use when talking about process and identity, and I inquire about the role of identity in “identity processes” and processes related to identity. With regard to the latter, I suggest that current process theorizing about organizational identity is impoverished because it rarely considers the role of the self, and I offer some ideas for theorizing about organizational self-processes.

Keywords: identity processes; processes about identity; organizational self; organizational self-processes

Chapter.  11418 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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