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Strategies of alignment: Organizational identity management and strategic change at Bang & Olufsen

Ravasi, D. & Phillips, N. (2011). Strategies of alignment: Organizational identity management and strategic change at Bang & Olufsen. Strategic Organization, 9(2), pp. 103-135. doi: 10.1177/1476127011403453


During periods of strategic change, maintaining the congruence between new configurations of resources and activities (strategic investments) and how these new configurations are communicated to external organizational constituents (strategic projections) is an important task facing organizational leaders. One part of this activity is to manage organizational identity to ensure that the various strategic projections produced by organizational members are coherent and support the new strategic investments. Little is known, however, about how organizational leaders accomplish this crucial task. This study of strategic change at Bang & Olufsen highlights the different strategies available to organizational leaders to ensure members’ identity beliefs are aligned with their own beliefs about the distinctive and appealing organizational features that result from the new strategic investments and result in appropriate strategic projections. The study’s findings highlight the internal identity work – or identity management – that organizational leaders engage in to preserve this congruence. The findings also complement the current emphasis in the literature on the social validation of organizational identities by pointing to the importance of a connection between identity claims and beliefs, strategic projections and the material reality of organizational products, practices and structures.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Identity management, strategic change, organizational identity, organizational image, projected images, identity drift, identity maintenance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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