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Title: Reconceptualising organizational identity : a critical realist and historical case study of Walgreens Boots Alliance (1892-2002)
Author: Kerridge, Gary
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 5519
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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What is organizational identity like? A simple question yet a complex issue since organizational identity has been conceptualised in multiple ways based on competing ontological paradigms, that when explored, reveal dualistic debates. My thesis makes an original contribution to these by circumnavigating ontological duality by using critical realism to develop an explanatory, but ontologically based account of organizational identity that addresses issues of temporal endurance vs. changeability alongside structure vs. agency. This was achieved by undertaking an historical and longitudinal embedded case-study of organizational identity at Walgreens Boot’s Alliance, a multinational health and beauty corporation. Specifically, I thematically generated organizational identity from historical documents across four time units from 1892-2002, and explained dynamics across these time units using concepts from critical realism. From this, I was able to demonstrate that an historically situated and ontologically independent organizational identity explained empirical identity dynamics over time, allowing organizational identity to be conceptualised as a dual phenomenon. The result being, that previous ontological divisions in conceptualising organizational identity were syncretised, the endurance vs. changeability debate reinvigorated and calls for a more critical stream within organizational identity scholarship advanced. Additional to these theoretical contributions, were organizational-level reflections on management of organizational identity with limitations and opportunities for further research discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology