Organizational Identity and The Nature of Stakeholder Relationships in the Blended Age of Organizing
Langer, Julie Anne
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The nature of organizing has changed. If the environment of the 20th century was marked by centralization, a rise in political authority and near unity in organizational form as a result of bureaucratization; it is decentralization, a rise in market authority and the proliferation of diverse organizational forms that characterize the new institutional environments in a global knowledge-based economy. These changes have prompted organizations across sectors to recognize their common enterprise and interact more. No longer are for-profit organizations focusing solely on the pursuit of profit, and government and nonprofit organizations on the pursuit of the common good. Rather, in today’s interconnected world, businesses are expected to embrace collective values and public and nonprofit organizations to internalize a market ethos. While supporters of sector cross-pollination in the public and nonprofit sector often view these changes as a pragmatic way for organizations to survive and thrive, critics believe that the pervasive influence of a market-ethos is changing the way that individuals working in the public and nonprofit sectors view the fundamental nature of relationships with stakeholders and those they serve, by promoting instrumental connections and consumer identities over the public interest. Drawing from theories of isomorphism and organizational ecology, this research examines identity and stakeholder relationships through the lens of Organizational Identity Orientation. Using a mixed method approach, a quantitative measurement model of the organizational identity orientation construct is developed and used to determine how organizational members across sectors view the fundamental nature of stakeholder relationships in the blended age of organizing. Findings suggest that while member perceptions of identity orientation tend to align with historical sector norms of collectivism in the public and nonprofit sectors and individualism in the for-profit sector, all orientations are reflected by members within each sector. Further, average views of individualism are much closer across all sectors than are views of collectivism, and in the case of nonprofit and for-profit members, not significantly different. Factors such as client-type, industry and the type of services an organization provides, help to explain some of these differences.
Subjectorganizational identity, organizational identity orientation, organizational behavior, nonprofits, government