English   Danish

2013/2014  KAN-CM_B148  Cultivating Powerful Identities

English Title
Cultivating Powerful Identities

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn, Spring
Changes in course schedule may occur.
Thursday 12.35-15.10, week 6-15, 17
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Peter Kjær - Department of Organization (IOA)
Course Responsible: Chris Mathieu/Roar Veiter Bovim (rvb.ioa@cbs.dk)
Administration: Mette Busk Ellekrog (mbe.ioa@cbs.dk)
Main academic disciplines
  • Business psychology
  • Management
  • Management of Information and Knowledge Management
  • Organization
Last updated on 25-10-2013
Learning objectives
At the end of the course, students should be able to:
  • Explain how identities drive organizational and financial performance
  • Discuss different strategies of measuring and evaluating identity and identification
  • Make a 360° analysis of the identity formation in an actual organization, including internal and external factors as well as micro and macro factors
  • Show how identities and identification in practice can be cultivated and optimized for performance on different organizational levels (e.g., organization, unit, team)
  • Identify effective leadership practices according to identity research
  • Discuss the connection and distinction between identity and identification, as well as other related concepts such as culture, image, brand and reputation.
  • Understand and apply the central theories, concepts and perspectives covered in the course to practice-oriented situations as illustrated in cases
Course prerequisites
Bachelor degree. Basic knowledge of organizational culture, organizational identity, and HRM is an advantage, but not a precondition for participation.
Home Assignment:
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
The examination is an individually written project of 10-15 pages
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Project
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period December/January and May/June
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure
Identities are often recognized as important. They function as sources of belonging and have been shown to enhance productivity, job satisfaction, cooperation, intentions to stay and knowledge sharing among others. Moreover, they provide a foundation for image, branding, reputation and strategy. For the top management, as well as the line manager and the HR consultant, therefore, in order to create well-functioning organizations and boost performance, it is crucial to establish a sense of ”Who are we?”, “What are we here for?” and “Where are we going?”.

In this course, the students will learn how leaders, managers and HR consultants, can cultivate and facilitate identities in organizations based on an in-depth understanding of identity formation dynamics. Readings and lectures emphasize that the formation of identities is a complex issue, involving internal and external stakeholders, efforts of management, as well as the everyday practices of organizational members. Applying a broad approach, we move beyond organizational identities, exploring the often strong identity that can emerge in the unit, project, team, and work group.

Participants will examine this topic using a cross-disciplinary approach and become familiar with theories inspired by sociology as well as social-psychology. Drawing on a broad framework, we translate theory into specific managerial practices, e.g. HR-strategy, selection and training practices, ways of organizing work, and leadership practices.

The course will cover topics related to identity such as:
  • Ways of evaluating identity and identification in the organization
  • Facilitating identity in R&D and knowledge-based organizations
  • Fostering identity in craft, engineering and service organizations
  • The role of organizational structure and design in optimizing identity
  • Managing cross-cutting and dual identities, e.g. in the matrix organization
  • Managing informal and network identities
  • Applying identity to current issues, e.g., acquisitions, mergers, re-structures
  • Designing and managing identity change
  • Organizational Identity Theory
  • The Social Identity Theory (SIT) and the Self-Categorization Theory (SCT)

This course's development of personal competences
This course stimulates the development of analytical skills as well as the ability to navigate through different, and sometimes incompatible, fields of research. At the same time, the participants will develop capabilities in the application and translation of theory into practice.
Teaching methods
The teaching will be interactive, include applications, discussions, and student presentations. Each week, we will study one or more cases from actual organizations, learning how concepts and models are related to practice. Participants will throughout the course be equipped with the competences and skills necessary for future managerial or HRM roles. To a great extent, we will work in groups, and the assigned group activities will require your full participation.
Expected literature
Indicative literature in the course:
  • Albert, S. and Whetten, D. A. 1985. Organizational identity. In L. L. Cummings and B. M. Staw (eds.): Research in organizational behaviour, 7: 263-295. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
  • Ashforth, B. E., Harrison, S. H. and Corley, K. G. 2008. Identification in Organizations: An Examination of Four Fundamental Questions. Journal of Management, 34(3): 325-374.
  • Bartel, C. og Dutton, J. 2001. Ambiguous Organizational Memberships: Constructing  Organizational Identities in Interactions with Others. In Hogg, M. A. and D. J. Terry (eds.): Social Identity Processes in Organizational Contexts, pp. 115-130. Philadelphia: Psychology Press.
  • Corley, K. G., Harquail, C. V., Pratt, M. G., Glynn, M. A., Fiol, C. M. and Hatch, M. J. 2006. Guiding Organizational Identity Through Aged Adolescence. Journal of Management Inquiry, 15(2): 85-99.
  • Gioia, D. A., Price, K. N., Hamilton, A. L. og Thomas, J. B. 2010. Forging an Identity: An Insider-outsider Study of Processes Involved in the Formation of Organizational Identity. Administrative Science Quarterly, 55:1-46.
  • Glynn, M. 2000. When cymbals become symbols: conflict over organizational identity within a symphony orchestra. Organization Science, 11: 285-298.
  • Hatch, M. J. and Schultz, M. 2002. The Dynamics of Organizational Identity. Human Relations, 55(8): 989-1018.
  • Hogg, M. A. and Terry, D. J. 2000. Social identity and self-categorization processes in organizational contexts. Academy of Management Review, 25: 121-140.
  • Lerpold, L., Ravasi, D., van Rekom, J. og Soenen, G. (red.) 2007. Organizational Identity in Practice. London: Routledge.
  • Pratt, M. G. and Rafaeli, A. 1997. Organizational dress as a symbol of multilayered social identities. Academy of Management Journal, 40: 862-898.
  • Van Dick, R., van Knippenberg, D., Kerschreiter, R., Hertel, G. og Wieseke, J. 2008. Interactive effects of work group and organizational identification on job satisfaction and extra-role behaviour. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 72: 388-399.
Last updated on 25-10-2013