Penn State

Glen E. Kreiner - associate professor of management and organization, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Identity in Organizations: Building Theory Through Conversations

Author: D.A. Whetten & P. Godfrey

Book Description:

This book is noteworthy to me for two reasons.

1. It is one of the key and early sources for the research stream on organizational identity. This literature is both personally and professionally compelling to me and the book helped put the topic front and center in organizational research. I owe much of my own thinking to this work, as it sparked in me an interest in the topic as well as the research process itself.

2. Also, the process which was undertaken to write the book is both unusual and exemplary. Rather than simply inviting several authors to contribute traditional chapters (each of which usually develops independently), this book generated from the recorded conversations and sessions of a conference on identity. Participants were given loose guidelines and general topics to discuss, but a large portion of the book actually consists of the transcribed conversations of these great—and collegial—thinkers. Other parts of the book were written subsequently and allowed the authors more reflection time post-conference. To me, it represents how our creative processes can be tapped into in novel ways as scholars and how these creative processes can lead to ground-breaking research.

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