Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business

No 07-2017: The external presentation of organizational identity orientation: A study of employment advertisement s 1975-2015

Arild Wæraas ()
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Arild Wæraas: School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Postal: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business, P.O. Box 5003 NMBU, N-1432 Ås, Norway

Abstract: This longitudinal study analyzes organizational identity labels and their implicated organizational identity orientations. The data consist of 1348 self-presentation texts retrieved from employment advertisements published in a major Norwegian newspaper over a 40 year period and containing more than 3,000 identity labels. The study shows that the expression of organizational identity orientation is an organization-level phenomenon, that the contents of labels and orientations change over time, and that identity labels should be understood as malleable and dynamic. More specifically, identity orientations change (1) in terms of their composition, suggesting that the same identity orientation is communicated through different labels over time, and (2) in terms of their relative prevalence, suggesting that organizations may shift the emphasis from one orientation to another over time. Implications for the expression of organizational identity orientation, the contents of external identity communication, and the nature of organizational identity labels are discussed.

Keywords: Employment advertisements; organizational identity; organizational identity change; organizational identity labels

JEL-codes: M14; M30; M31

39 pages, December 5, 2017

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