You are here

Sage online ordering services are currently unavailable due to network disruption. We are working to restore service as soon as possible. In the meantime, our books are still available widely via retailers and online from Currently we are only able to supply digital inspection copies. These can be requested via this site, or direct from Vitalsource and Kortext. If you need a print copy, please contact your local Academic Sales Consultant, who will be able to arrange to send this once our systems are back online.

If you need further assistance please visit our Contact us page for further information. Thank you for your patience and we apologise for the inconvenience.

Understanding Identity and Organizations

Understanding Identity and Organizations

December 2011 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
An understanding of identity is fundamental to a complete understanding of organizational life. While conventional management textbooks nod to in-groups, cohesion and discrimination, this text offers instead a deeper, more nuanced understanding of why people, groups and organizations behave the way they do.

With conceptions of identity perhaps less stable than they have ever been, the authors make complex theoretical issues accessible to the reader through the use of lively examples from popular culture. The authors present an overview of the key issues, as well as an examination of cutting-edge research and topical forces currently re-defining identity, such as globalisation, the fair trade movement and online identities.

This text is a succinct, relevant and exciting overview of the field of identity studies as it relates to business and management and applied social sciences, an is an invaluable resource to undergraduate and postgraduate students of management on any course that has an identity component.

Introduction to Understanding Identity
Identity vs Personality
Identity on the Management Agenda: A Brief History
How Do Individual and Organizational Identities Interact?
Introducing the Book
Suggested Reading
Theoretical Perspectives on Identity
Social Identity Theory (SIT)
Foucauldian Perspective
Symbolic Interactionism
Narrative Approaches
Micro-Interactional Approaches
Application Exercise - The Case of Frances
Suggested Reading
Sample Exam/Assignment Questions
Diversity and Identity
Identity as a Social Category
Identity as a Process of Social Construction
Suggested Reading
Sample Exam/Assignment Questions
Occupational Identities
The Meaning of Work
Occupational Cultures and Boundaries
Managerial Identities
Professional Identities
The Dirty, the Deviant and the Degrading
Unpaid Work and Unemployment
When I Grow Up I Want To Be …
Suggested Reading
Sample Exam/Assignment Questions
Identity and Organizational Control
Overview and Introduction
Bringing Identity to Work
Managing Culture
Managing Identities
Identification and Dis-identification
Suggested Reading
Sample Exam/Assignment Questions
Organizational Identity
Organizational Identity: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
Organizational Identity - Properties or Beliefs?
Types of Organizational Identity
Power in (and of) Organizational Identity
Suggested Reading
Sample Exam/Assignment Questions
Virtual Identity
Overview and Introduction
Competing Perspectives: Technological Determinism and Social Constructionism
New Connections and Identity: Online Communities
Virtual Identity, Power and Control
Teleworking and Identity
Suggested Reading
Sample Exam/Assignment Questions
The Future of Identity
Strong Attachments and Totalizing Workplaces?
Weak Attachments and the 'Flexible' Firm
New Public Management
Identity and the Global, Virtual Firm
The Future of Diversity
Suggested Reading
Glossary of Terms

'As it elicited many thought provoking moments, before I was halfway through this book I had recommened it to a Masters degree student writing their dissertation (they reported it was fascinating) and used a variety of concepts in sessions (e.g organisational culture / leadership) facilitated in my role as a Staff Development Adviser...I would have no hesitation in endorsing this lively yet solid text to FE and HE students'
John Trantom
Action Learning: Research & Practice

'Identity is an extremely popular, but frequently misunderstood and misrepresented, concept in organization studies. This fantastic book is a much needed and timely antidote to this problem. It provides a thoughtful, accessible and thorough treatment of the phenomenon. It is an absolute "must read" for anyone who professes to be interested in studying or researching identity and organization's
Professor Cliff Oswick
Professor in Organization Theory, Head of the Faculty of Management, Cass Business School, City University

'Organizations are not just places we go to make money, but places where we make ourselves too. This helpful book explores the ways in which identities are worked upon, and show how many of our ideas about "who we are" emerge from our lives at work'
Professor Martin Parker
Warwick Business School

'I am impressed by this accessible and thoroughly scholarly text. It introduces students to highly complex theoretical ideas in a way that is immediately relevant to everyday organizational life. I look forward to teaching with this book'
Professor Samantha Warren
University of Essex

'Understanding Identity and Organizations maps the territory laid out by identity research as it applies to organizations and points to new areas of interest and concern. An essential guide for those entering the field of organizational identity studies as well as providing an overview of the field for seasoned identity researchers'
Mary Jo Hatch
Professor Emerita of Banking and Commerce, University of Virginia

'Understanding Identity and Organization gives us for the first time a complete and sophisticated overview of the key topics and debates around identity at work. In a lively, accessible and always scholarly fashion, the authors have captured the fundamental importance of this often neglected aspect of employment. It is essential reading for anyone studying organizations today'
Professor Peter Fleming
Queen Mary College, University of London

This is an essential book for making sense of the theme of identity in organizations, the key issues, dimensions and approaches, as well as how to do research on it. It is essencial for a global overview at undergraduate level, and for more detailed explorations at masters level.

Professor Manuel Graca
Faculdade De Economia, University of Porto
October 6, 2021

Nice and well-written text. Not 100% relevant to my module.

Dr Alexandros Psychogios
Hull University Business School, The University of Hull
March 11, 2015

Is is too much detailed on specify subjects for our aims.
It is very well written and rich in its perspectives.

Mr Jouke Post
Human resource management, Saxion Universities of Prof Education
December 4, 2013

Will be adopted as supplemental reading for the new second year marketing course being launched next year

Dr Andrew Whalley
School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London
October 30, 2013

A brilliant book that focuses on issues relating to identity within an organisational context. Well written and extremely informative!

Mr Amer Shehzad
Lancashire Business School, University of Central Lancashire
February 26, 2013

A brilliant book that focuses on issues relating to identity. Well written and extremely informative!

Mr Amer Shehzad
Lancashire Business School, University of Central Lancashire
February 26, 2013

Excellent and thorough analysis of key aspects of identity theory in general and perspective on identity in particular.

Faculty of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology
February 13, 2013

This is a fantastic book, offering a comprehensive overview of identity and organizations. A pleasure to read, with effective signposting to other sources. The book covers the key thinkers, issues and concepts and, unlike some texts, it looks to the future directions of this field.

Ms Victoria Pagan
Business School, Newcastle University
September 25, 2012

This is a very strong book to support the significant topic of identity in the wider subject of organisaitonal behaviour. Very useful for assigned essay work and student research in this area.

Pauric O'Rourke
Business School, Limerick Institute of Technology
May 11, 2012

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781848606807
ISBN: 9781848606791

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.

SAGE Knowledge brings together high-quality content from across our imprints, including CQ Press and Corwin titles.