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Title: Organisational identity creation and strategy-making processes in the institutional context : a case study in higher education
Author: Bowman, David
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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An embedded, single case study was carried out at Southern Virginia University, a small, private, religious, liberal arts university in the United States, to develop an understanding of organisational identity and strategy processes from an institutionalist perspective. This research traced the processes associated with organisational identity creation and strategy- making that attended the recreation of an existing organisation after the installation of a new board of trustees. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 35 participants using purposive sampling from among senior administrators, trustees, faculty, staff, students and parents. Documents and other relevant organisational artefacts collected included: the minutes of management and trustee meetings, recruiting and public relations materials, news media, student newspapers, course catalogues and student handbooks. Qualitative methods of analysis led to the development of 'historical concepts' and 'identity claims' that supported 'higher-order constructs' on identity innovation based on multiple identities and institutional resources, the reflection of institutional level conflict in organisational processes, and on the formative impact of external regulatory.and cultural forces. Key findings cover: the inextricable relationship of identity and strategy, the impact of accreditation on identity and strategic responses to regulatory regimes, institutional resources as providing useful enablers and constraints toward the creation of an innovative university identity, and the role of individuals as' carriers' of institutional influences within the university. The study confirms existing theories on institutional mechanisms and organisational identity, contributing to the nexus of these areas of scholarship, and demonstrating the usefulness of institutional perspectives in illuminating organisational identity and strategy-making processes. It further asserts that institutions play a supportive role in identity innovation that complements the traditionally emphasised isomorphic forces of institutional mechanisms. Suggested topics for future research touch upon organisational identity and institutional theory, and continued higher education scholarship from business studies perspectives is encouraged.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available