Identity, design and emotions during radical organisational change
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date01/07/2023
This dissertation explores the transformation of a charity which implemented a radical organisational change to become more business-like. Empirically, this study investigates the case of Pathfinder1, a preservation charity characterised by hybridity. Theoretically, I draw on the literatures on hybrid organising, organisational identity, organisational design and emotions. Studying the role of organisational identities (paper 1), organisational design (paper 2) and emotions (paper 3) during Pathfinder’s transformation enabled me to derive new theoretical insights and shed a different light on organisational change processes. The three papers are organised as follows: Paper 1 explores how organisational identity plurality plays out in a charity characterised by hybridity and critically reflects on two theoretical positions: hybrid organisational identities and multiple organisational identities. I found that the organisation was characterised by both hybrid and multiple organisational identities, and neither of the perspectives alone could sufficiently explain the identity plurality of the organisation. Based on my findings, I develop an intra-organisational identities network approach which offers a more nuanced conceptualisation of and approach to study organisational identity plurality. Paper 2 examines how organisational design changes impact the structural hybridity arrangements in an organisation undergoing a radical change. I found that before implementing change, the organisation was characterised by a configuration in which it separated its conflicting elements. This had resulted in an overt focus on its social goals. After implementing change, the conflicting elements were brought together structurally at some levels of the organisation, leading to the business goals gaining importance. By developing a theoretical framework that depicts the different structural arrangements of hybrid organisations and assessing these in different institutional contexts, I provide novel insights on how hybrid organisations can structure their hybridity and sustainably create social and economic value. Paper 3 examines the role of emotions during the radical organisational change in an organisation embedded in conflicting institutional logics. I unpacked the factors and mechanisms involved in actors’ emotional investment in conflicting institutional logics and the role of individuals’ passion contexts of institutional logic change. In doing so, Ienhance our understanding of the links between individual-level emotions and organisational-level outcomes.
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