Communicating Organizational Change Equitably: Emphasizing Global Identity versus Local Identity

By Mirit Shoham.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

From a communication and social interaction standpoint, situation in groups and an intergroup landscape—namely the organization—can dictate unique norms and identities within divergent local environments. For example, an organization divided into functional groups or geographically disparate offices may find that its organizational culture, values, attitudes, and identities are bifurcated along similar boundaries rather than maintaining a cohesive, global organizational identity. Social Identity Theory and Self Categorization Theory elucidate the complex dynamics of group and intergroup relations. Specifically, groups define themselves (and their respective norms and identities) according to a larger intergroup landscape, and may situate themselves in contrast to other groups in the horizon. Therefore, in an organizational context, it is vital that groups maintain cohesive ties with one another, and highlight the larger, overarching organizational identity above and beyond the more local identities surfacing within subgroups. During times of organizational change and uncertainty, it becomes increasingly vital to open communication with all counterparts of the organization to ensure the emergence of a systemic/organizational identity. This will secure a more equitable and effective change for the organization at large.

Keywords: Organizational Change, Inter-group Dynamics, Identity, Norms, Communicating Change

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 852.769KB).

Dr. Mirit Shoham

Assistant Professor, School of Communication Studies, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA

Dr. Mirit Shoham received her Masters degree in Communication from Cornell University and her PhD in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is now an assistant professor at Ohio University teaching classes in persuasion and information diffusion. Dr. Shoham’s research is focused on the contagion of attitudes across group and intergroup landscapes, highlighting the role of social influence in the formation of identity, norms, expectations, etc. Taking a multi-method approach, and focusing on network analytic techniques, she explores the role of social structures in shaping attitudes.

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