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2010/2011  KAN-SOL_OS41  Managing Organizational Identity

English Title
Managing Organizational Identity

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
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
Main Category of the Course
  • Organization
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Exam Period Autumn Term
Individual oral exam based on a group project (4-5 students, max. 15 A4 pages), cf. the General Degree Regulation § 27 S. (4). The duration of the individual oral exam is 20 minutes (including assessment). The assessment is a total evaluation of the project and the individual oral exam. The exam is internal and will be graded by a teacher and an exinternal examiner, cf. the General Degree Regulation §25 S. (1) no.2. Submission of the project to the secretariat is regarded as examination registration and must take place in October 2010. The regular exam will take place in November 2010. The make-up/re-exam takes place in January/ February 2011. 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 a new or revised project, confer advice from the examiner at the regular exam, must be handed in to a new deadline specified by the line secretariat. The re-exam is an individual oral exam based upon the same group report as for the ordinary exam, with a 3-page supplement
The exam will be an oral exam based on a project – preferably related to the concrete analytical projects performed during the course.
Examination takes place in conjunction with the course in Business Strategy and is based on a project (written reports with oral examination).

The re-exam is an individual oral exam based upon the same group report as for the regular exam, with a 3-page supplement
Prerequisites for Attending the Exam
Course Content

Aim of the course
In Managing 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.

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 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 an asset and liability in terms of business renewal.
In that two of the three models of the OI course overlap with two of the schools of strategic management (Design Planning School, Cultural-institutional School), while the third school has minor overlap (post-modernism – Complex Responsive Processes).


The course readings will be about 650 pages, some of which are rather extensive.

Albert, S., & Whetten, D. A. (1985). Organizational identity. In L. L. Cummings & B. M. Staw (Eds.), Research in organizational behaviour, vol. 7: 263-295. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. (printed in hand out)
Dutton, J., & Dukerich, J. (1991). Keeping an eye on the mirror: Image and identity in organizational adaptation. Academy of Management Journal, 34: 517-554.
Gioia, D. A., and Chittipeddi, K. (1991). Sensemaking and sensegiving in strategic change initiation. Strategic Management Journal, 12: 443-448.
Hatch, M. J., & Schultz, M. 2008. Taking Brand Initiative: How Companies Can Align Strategy, Culture and Identity Through Corporate Branding. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Muniz, A.M. & O’Guinn, T.C. (2001) Brand Community. Journal of Consumer Research. Vol 27: 412 - 32.
Lerpold, L. Ravasi, D., van Rekom, J. and Soenin, G. (eds) (2007) Organizational Identity in Practice. London: Routledge

Suggested readings prior to course:
Schein, Edgar (2004) Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass.
Greiner, L. “Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow”. Harvard Business Review, 1972, 50, 37–46.