The above quotation illustrates the importance of identity. It is hard to imagine any behavior a person could engage in that would somehow not have implications for how they see themselves and how the world sees them. Indeed, the question of “Who am I?” is one that we as human organisms ponder. We surmise, re-evaluate and update our self-conceptions throughout our lifespan. The cognitive sophistication and complex ability to articulate self-reflective thoughts separates humans from other species; the ability to define who we are and what we want to become. Therefore, “identity is important” is probably not a controversial statement. That is the easy part. What is more difficult is to pinpoint the best way to define and study it. After all, if something defies definition and measurement, then it is nothing more than lofty philosophical rhetoric, a useful metaphor, perhaps (Cohen 1989). If the idea of “identity” is a serious area of empirical inquiry, then one must face the difficult challenge of developing a precise theoretical, methodological and substantive set of ideas to capture this construct. In that regard, there has been great progress, yet there is much more work to do. From the early days of personality research (Allport 1937; Murray 1938; Barenbaum and Winter 2008), the idea of a monolithic self was appealing. A person has a “self-concept”: the sum total of thoughts, ideas and beliefs about who they are, and what they want to be. If you could identify what the key elements were, then you might be able to predict what that person is going to say, think and do. It made sense to focus on static and enduring traits that may be an important set of building blocks to base this conception on (Cristal and Tupes 1992; Costa and McCrae 1997; Costa et al. 1998). The fact that measuring these traits often produced weak relationships to other outcomes pointed to the need for additional nuance within the conception of what a self-concept actually means (see Griffith and Jenkins 2004). It was the information processing revolution, the self as an organizing structure in memory (Kihlstrom and Klein 1986), and the idea that the self-concept is better thought of as categories or a collection of “social identities” (Tajfel and Turner 1979; Abrams and Hogg 1990) that opened a door forward to deeper understanding. This need for complexity comes at a price, though. Now the questions are: What are the key social categories that matter? When do they matter? Why do they matter? How do they change over time?
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Americus Reed II and Mark Forehand
Giorgia Maria D’Allura, Andrea Colli and Sanjay Goel
Family firms represent over 90 percent of businesses around the world and often play a more significant role in the economies of nations. The impact of the family on organizational behavior and firm performance is the factor that makes the difference between family and non-family firms. To illustrate how the family as a variable can be used to generate theory in a broad explanatory sense, we need to investigate both micro- and macro-levels of organizations. At a micro-level, family firms’ heterogeneity may be explained in terms of how the family behaves and intervenes in the business. At a macro-level, a possible explanation of such diversity is the institutional context, that is the general framework that influences firms’ behavior and strategy along the dimensions of culture, innovation propensity, law, governance rules, economic and financial constraints, and so on. Indeed, the family as a social unit can be considered another dimension of the institutional context. The book contributes in all these directions through theoretical and empirical chapters from different institutional contexts.
Colin C. Williams and Ioana A. Horodnic
Colin C. Williams and Ioana A. Horodnic
Anthony F. Buono, Susan M. Adams and Gavin M. Schwarz
This book is intended to help prepare change leaders – at all organizational levels – to effectively deal with the myriad challenges inherent in the process of organizational change. While it has literally become a well-worn cliche that organizations and their management face unrelenting demands for change (Kerber and Buono, 2018), the simple reality – which is not so simple in terms of its impact on organizational life – is that the majority of change efforts fall well short of their intended goals. Despite a literal avalanche of research and managerial attention devoted to conceptualizing and empirically testing an array of change management practices (see Abrahamson, 2000; de Caluwe and Vermaak, 2002; Jamieson et al., 2016; King and Wright, 2007; Kotter and Cohen, 2002), successful organizational change often remains an elusive quest. Unfortunately, many of our educational efforts to develop the capabilities of students and early career executives to successfully deal with the subtleties, nuances, and complexities of organizational change similarly tend to fall well short of the need. Thus, in a “back to the future” spirit, this volume seeks to confront this challenge by resurrecting a powerful hands-on, immersive pedagogy: high impact change-related simulations and experiential exercises. Effective organizational change involves a combination of understanding, learning and unlearning, and practiced behavior as part of the underlying conceptualization, formulation, and implementation processes. The book presents a series of exercises – each with background context, explicit directions, facilitator suggestions, and debriefing guidelines – that promote learning and developing readiness for change, from preparing people for change, understanding and managing resistance, grappling with cultural confines and confusion, dealing with communication challenges, and coping with change-related obstacles, to seeking buy-in for the change. Emphasis throughout the book is placed on developing change-related competencies.