We employed a longitudinal, grounded-theory approach to investigate the occurrence of an identity crisis in an emerging collective of organizations attempting to form a new academic field. The findings indicate that legacy identities and the nested structure of such organizations have implications for the formation of identity at this level. Specifically, the co-evolution of organization-level and collective-level identities, and the interdependencies between the levels, rendered the collective identity formation process as multiphased, complex, contentious, and continuously precarious - ultimately leading to an identity crisis that was resolved not by arriving at a "consensual identity," but, rather, a "coherent identity." The findings contribute to the nascent stream of literature on collective identity beyond the organizational level by explicating identity-work processes involved in the precipitation, manifestation, and resolution of an identity crisis in an emerging field.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management
- General Business, Management and Accounting
- Strategy and Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation