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2013/2014  KAN-SOL_OS48  Organizational Identity

English Title
Organizational Identity

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period Autumn
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Majken Schultz - Department of Organization (IOA)
Course responsible: Majken Schultz (ms.ioa@cbs.dk)
Course secretary: Mette Ellekrog (mbe.ioa@cbs.dk)
Main academic disciplines
  • Organization
Last updated on 05-08-2013
Learning objectives
Learning objectives for the joint exam in Business Strategy and Managing Organizational Identity.

At the exam the student should be able to:
  • Relate various theories related to business strategy to each other, and apply them in order to analyze issues of business strategy
  • Discuss, using theories relevant to business strategy, how and why business strategy facilitate assimilation and differentiation among internal and external stakeholders
  • Relate various theories related to organizational identity to each other, and apply them in order to analyze issues of identity and corporate branding
  • Discuss, using theories relevant to organizational identity, how and why organizational identity changes and involves internal and external stakeholders
  • Discuss how identity provides a foundation for strategy and how it offers the opportunity for organizations to achieve competitive advantage
Course prerequisites
Organizational Identity can only be taken together with the course Business Strategy as the two courses have a common exam.
Business Strategy in conjunction with Organizational Identity:
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Group exam, max. 5 students in the group
The oral exam is individual and based on a group project.
Ordinary exam takes place in October/November.
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
For a single student max. 10 pages
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn Term and Autumn Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If a student is ill during the oral exam, he/she will be able to re-use the project at the make-up exam. If the student was ill during the writing of the project and did not contribute to the project, the make-up/re-exam project can be written individually or in groups (provided the other students are taking the make-up/re-exam). If the student did not pass the regular exam, the examiner decides, whether a new or revised project must be handed in to a new deadline specified by the line secretariat. Reexam takes place in Jan/Feb
Course content and structure

Aim of the course
In Organizational Identity students engage in the cross-disciplinary study of organizational identity and its implications for management practice with a special focus on corporate branding. The course provides a foundation for understanding identity as a phenomenon with relevance for both internal and external stakeholders and invites students to explore how the conceptual complexity of organizational identity is translated into managerial practices in different organizations.

In conjunction with the course Business Strategy (BS), the identity course will engage in practical case work through analysis as well as creative strategy making. The latter will be facilitated by learning techniques from art and design studios.

Identity is important to organizations because it affects their competitiveness and ability to attract stakeholders. We will examine how organizations understand and define who they are and discuss why their identity is a source of belonging and differentiation for both internal and external stakeholders. The course will show how identity provides a foundation for strategy and why managing identities gives organizations a competitive advantage. The course draws on different perspectives on identity within organization studies and includes examination of theories offered by other disciplines, such as marketing and communication. Organizational identity is related to other concepts, such as image, organizational culture and corporate branding and is best conceptualized as dynamic. Students will examine the implications of organizational identity theories for doing empirical research as well as for management practice, using case studies and student observations. In particular, the course will explore the importance of identity for corporate strategy and branding practices, encouraging students to debate the opportunities and limitations of organizational identity management.

Overlap with the course Business Strategy
This course of business strategy overlaps naturally with OI in three ways:
In aiming to understand how organizational identity is explicated and used as an internal resource for management to develop certain policies and organizational architectures that stimulate local action.
In viewing identity as a strategic asset. 
In that several theoretical frameworks (e.g. co-creation) are used in both courses.

Teaching methods
Students will engage in the cross-disciplinary study of organizational identity and its implications for management practice based on both case studies and student observations. The course comprises two intensive workshops, where they will work in-depth with select cases.
Expected literature

The course readings will be about 650 pages, some of which are rather extensive. The readings include the following books:

Hatch, M.J, and Schultz, M. 2008. Taking Brand Initiative. How Companies Can Align Strategy, Culture, and Identity Through Corporate Branding, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass., 288 p.


Kornberger, M, (2010) Brand Society, How Brands Transform Management and LifestyleCambridge University Press, London, 328 p


Last updated on 05-08-2013