The Defining Role of Organizational Identity for Facilitating Stakeholder Flourishing

Celia V. Harquail and Shelley L. Brickson

in The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199734610
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

The Defining Role of Organizational Identity for Facilitating Stakeholder Flourishing

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  • Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Social Psychology



Organizations can aggregate, intensify, and radiate positive influence through their connections with many types of stakeholders. An organization’s identity, the distinctive and meaningful characteristics that define it, can support and foster stakeholders’ flourishing. This chapter explores organizational identity (OI) through the lens of positive organizational scholarship (POS), to sketch a provisional map of opportunities for research at their intersection. The chapter identifies ways in which OI content and dynamics may promote stakeholder flourishing by influencing stakeholder identity and broader stakeholder functioning. The first section describes how OI content might promote positive self-evaluations and valued identity content, and explores how OI content can help stakeholders create meaning, establish connections, and gain access to resources. The second section describes how OI dynamics might meet stakeholders’ identity and sense-making needs, so that stakeholders derive benefits through their relationships with the organization. The final section identifies additional research opportunities at the intersection of OI and stakeholder flourishing.

Keywords: Organizational identity; identity change; stakeholders; flourishing

Article.  10204 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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