After James on Identity

Arne Carlsen

in The Oxford Handbook of Sociology and Organization Studies

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199535231
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 After James on Identity

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  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour


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The article has four main parts. First, it introduces some context on James and his work, points to strands of influence on organization studies, and discusses how his conceptions of self were shaped by historical circumstances and personal experiences. Second, it briefly overviews key tenets of organizational identity theory and argues that it has been predominantly focused on the equivalence of what James called ‘self-as-object’. Third, it gives a treatment of what James meant by ‘self-as-subject’ and how that may be understood as collective processes of authoring, rooted in practice. Finally, it discusses two sets of the implications that follow from James's view of self: bringing identity into organizational practice and into social change.

Keywords: organization studies; organizational practice; social change; self-as-subject; organizational identity; personal experiences

Article.  10488 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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