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Organizational identity and paradox : an analysis of the "stable state of instability" of Wikipedia´s identity

  • Previous studies have reported changes in organizational identities as a result of external or internal triggers. In contrast, we highlight how the paradoxical nature of an organizational identity can influence stability and change that identity. Using the example of Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, we show how a "stable state of instability" of the organization´s collective identity is constantly being reproduced. We contribute to the literature on organizational identity by first analyzing a case in which identity change is not triggered by a disruptive event. Second, we show how the paradoxical nature of identity triggers attempts to reconcile contradictions of the paradox, culminating in permanent state of gradual changes of organizational identity. Finally, we exemplify how, as a form of partial organization where volunteers take part in the identity formation process, Wikipedia copes with the tensions that ensue from its collective identity.

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Author of HS ReutlingenKozica, Arjan
Erschienen in:Journal of Management Inquiry
Place of publication:Thousand Oaks, California
Document Type:Journal article
Publication year:2015
Tag:Wikipedia; contradictions; narrative analysis; organizational identity; paradox; partial organization
Page Number:18
First Page:186
Last Page:203
DDC classes:330 Wirtschaft
Open access?:Nein
Licence (German):License Logo  In Copyright - Urheberrechtlich geschützt