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New Insights on Organizational Responses to Identity Threats

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The alignment of identity with the organization strategic goals is powerful. Members define themselves as a result of their involvement or association with an organization. In the event an organization's identity evolves or changes, it impacts the members' sense of self. This is crucial in how members develop their social identity and self-affirmation, which in turn reverberates back to the organization and affects its future and its effectiveness. Recent research has given new insight on organizational responses to identity threats, demonstrating that identities may be challenged by environmental changes, and the importance of sense-making and sense-giving in the process.

Traditionally, the nature of identity threats was thought to be external events that challenged members' perception of their organization. Elsbach and Kramer (1996) researched the reaction of members from eight top -20 business schools responded to the 1992 Business Week survey rankings of U.S. business schools. Members' perceptions of their schools were threatened by their school's ranking in comparison to other schools. Elsbach and Kramer showed that members' response was dependent upon the level of identity dissonance they felt following the ranking. New research points out members perception might also be challenged by changes in ...

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This detailed solution gives an analysis about organizational responsis to indentify threats. APA references are included.