Facoltà di scienze della comunicazione

Perceived threats in changing the traits of organizational identity

Illia, Laura

This research documents the empirical results of intentional change in an organizational identity where resistance emerges. We develop and test a theoretical model describing why members of an organization in such situations of change perceive a threat of organizational identity traits. Research results illustrate that the essentiality of organizational identity traits and their influence on... More

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    Summary
    This research documents the empirical results of intentional change in an organizational identity where resistance emerges. We develop and test a theoretical model describing why members of an organization in such situations of change perceive a threat of organizational identity traits. Research results illustrate that the essentiality of organizational identity traits and their influence on members’ self-esteem represent two antecedents that contribute to explaining such perceptions of threat. They also illustrate that the existence of multiple identities is an important element to consider when managing change in order to reduce the perception of threat. However, organizational identity traits’ correspondence to external expectations is not relevant. Indeed, when the threatened organizational identity trait is dual to another one, there is a lower threat perception to change it, whereas when it corresponds to external expectations, there is not a lower threat perception. Accordingly our research documents the existence of the impacts of the two antecedents that have thus far only been treated separately within the current debate on resistance to change of organizational identity. We also examine multiple identities in organizations as an important moderator.