1st Edition

Organizational Identity and Memory
A Multidisciplinary Approach

ISBN 9781138947948
Published December 11, 2018 by Routledge
162 Pages

USD $155.00

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Book Description

Organizational Identity and Memory analyzes the relationship between organizational identity and organizational memory, in particular history and commemoration. The goal is to further our understanding of the role of this relationship in processes critical to today’s organizations: the evolution of organizational identity, the creation and use of organizational memory, organizational learning and change, and employee identification with organizations.

The literature on organizational memory and organizational identity has developed independently and at times in separate disciplines. Scholars have debated whether organizational identity is mutable or enduring. In this debate, organizational history, a form of organizational memory, has been a key factor, but neither side of the debate has pursued indepth the well-developed literature on collective memory to understand this relationship and its impact on organizational identity. Organizational memory defined as commemoration and history has been connected to different forms of identity, both national and organizational, but this relationship and its impact on organizational memory processes has not been explored.

Organizational Identity and Memory takes a multidisciplinary approach to explore and articulate the dynamic relationship between organizational identity and memory, drawing on work from anthropology, history, organizational studies, and sociology. A multidisciplinary theoretical framework for future research on organizational identity and memory is presented. Implications for managers are discussed with engaging insights from organizational research and practices in creating corporate museums, galleries, visitor centers, and other displays of this relationship.

Table of Contents


The value of a multidisciplinary perspective

Literature search methods

Introduction to key concepts

The organization

Seminal work: Organizational identity

Seminal work: Organizational memory

Literature since the seminal work

Organization of the book



Chapter 1: Organizational and collective memory

Organizational memory

The seminal text of Walsh and Ungson

Literature reviews on organizational memory in organizational studies

Literature review in information systems

The organizational memory literature since 2010

Knowledge management

Organizational learning

Collective memory as a theoretical lens for organizational memory

Commemoration and remembering as a theoretical lens for organizational


Special issues focused on organizational memory as collective memory and


Organizational memory as social remembering

Collective memory: Social science perspectives from anthropology, history, and sociology

Origins of collective memory theories: Halbwachs

Collective memory literature building on Halbwachs

Theoretical approaches to collective memory

Differentiating between collective memory and other related terms

Differentiating between history and collective memory

Schwartz on commemoration and history

Factors that influence collective memory

Social interaction and the role of the individual in collective memory

Schemas as cognitive tools in collective memory

Time and collective memory

Physical space in collective memory



Chapter 2: Organizational and collective identity

Organizational identity

Social actor perspective

Social constructionist perspective

Bridging the two perspectives of organizational identity

Organizational identity research in related fields

Differentiating organizational identity from other concepts


Organizational and collective identity: Social science perspectives of anthropology,

history, and sociology

National identity

Collective identity among other groups

Cultural identity and its development



PART 2: The relationships between memory and identity

Chapter 3: Relationships between collective memory and identity

Organizational identity and its relationship to memory

The relationship as it surfaces in definitions of organizational identity

Empirical studies of organizational identity related to memory

Organizational memory and its relationship to identity

The relationship as it surfaces in definitions of organizational memory

Empirical studies of organizational memory related to identity

The relationship between collective memory and identity: Social science perspectives of anthropology, history, and sociology

How memory supports identity

How identity supports memory



Chapter 4: Factors that influence the relationship between collective identity and


Critical events

The role of individuals and social interaction

Generational cohorts





PART 3: Theoretical framework and implications

Chapter 5: Multidisciplinary theoretical framework and implications for theory

and research

Definitions of terms

Organizational memory

Organizational identity

Theoretical assumptions about the relationship between organizational identity and


Nature of the dynamic relationship

Factors influencing the relationship between organizational memory and identity

Implications for research


Chapter 6: Implications for practice

Corporate museums

History of corporate museums

Social interaction and interaction between consumers and the product

Time—past, present, and future—and emotion

Stories and narratives of the past

Problematizing corporate museums


Anniversaries and memorial services


Major transitions in organizations



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Andrea Casey is an Associate Professor of Human and Organizational Learning at The George Washington University Graduate School of Education & Human Development.