Organizational identity, image, and adaptive instability

Dennis A. Gioia, Majken Schultz, Kevin G. Corley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1288 Scopus citations


Organizational identity usually is portrayed as that which is core, distinctive, and enduring about the character of an organization. We argue that because of the reciprocal interrelationships between identity and image, organizational identity, rather than enduring, is better viewed as a relatively fluid and unstable concept. We further argue that instead of destabilizing an organization, this instability in identity is actually adaptive in accomplishing change. The analysis leads to some provocative, but nonetheless constructive, implications for theory, research, and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-81
Number of pages19
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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