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Searching for Organisational Identity: - a case study at Sapa Heat Transfer
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Organisational Identity (i.e. OI) could be described as an employee theory of who the organisation is. The concept is seen as one of the most problematic concepts to define. One of the main reasons for that is its close relation to the concepts of culture and image, as they are seen as defining each other. As expressed in previous research there is a need for theoretical clarification and investigations in practice in this area.

We aim to contribute to an OI concept clarification and theoretical understanding by investigating OI in a single case at a Swedish company; Sapa Heat Transfer. The aim is fulfilled by a focus on research questions concerning how different employee groups perceive the organisational identity at this company, how the organisational identity can be described at the company and how the sum of these answers may develop the organisational identity concept further.

In order to investigate OI at Sapa Heat Transfer we have used four qualitative methods; one to one informational interview with key personnel, observations, desk research and focus groups, where focus groups was the main data collection method. A key for this triangulation was to generate a deep contextual understanding in order to facilitate a separation between identity, culture and image making a definition of the OI possible.

Our findings show the organisational identity at SHT as being built on four cornerstones; Responsibility, Engagement, Willingness and Energy. The OI at SHT is to be considered as weak rather than strong regarding the OI strength. There is a strong culture resulting in an "industrial mentality" regarding the employees. Our results are showing that the culture might appear as OI, i.e. false OI, if the present OI is weak. There might be multiple OIs at the company, which we are rejecting. Instead our results are showing an existence of multiple cognitive perspectives, functioning as cognitive platforms creating the employee perceptions of the OI. At SHT the perspectives are demonstrated to be developed by vocations, positions, departments, units/divisions and/or work groups. The individual perspective taken is dependent on the employee perceived belongingness. An alignment of all existing employee perspectives will define the true OI at a company. Further, the OI perspective framework presented could facilitate a separation between OI and culture if a time perspective is applied, since our results is indicating culture to be connected to a past time perspective and OI seems to be related to a present. Our results are presenting OI as changeable within limits, developed within a culture frame, possible to make explicit but at the same time occurring mainly unconsciously. Finally, our results have defined a need for a complementing category, regarding behaviouristic characteristics, among the categories presented as potential OI content characteristics within the Balmer and Greyser (2002) framework.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 104 p.
Keyword [en]
organisational identity, corporate identity, identity in organization, employer branding process
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51705ISRN: LIU-HRM/HRD-A--09/014--SEOAI: diva2:277084
2009-08-28, D38, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2009-12-28 Created: 2009-11-15 Last updated: 2009-12-28Bibliographically approved

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