Organizational Identity, Image, and Adaptive Instability


Academy of Management Review; Jan 2000, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p63-81



Organizational identity usually is portrayed as that which is core, distinctive, and enduring about the character of an organization. We argue that because of the reciprocal interrelationships between identity and image, organizational identity, rather than enduring, is better viewed as a relatively fluid and unstable concept. We further argue that instead of destabilizing an organization, this instability in identity is actually adaptive in accomplishing change. The analysis leads to some provocative, but nonetheless constructive, implications for theory, research, and practice.

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Authors: Dennis A. Gioia, Kevin G. Corley & Majken Schultz