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