Collective identity construction in international collaborations

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceProceedingpeer-review


    This paper explores the complex processes of collective identity construction among the participating organizational members in inter-organizational collaborations that cross national boundaries. Drawing from the constructionist approach to collective identity, especially the perspectives of identity work, we describe findings from a qualitative study of three business collaborations. Our analysis suggests that two inseparable elements (states and processes) constitute a cyclic and enduring process of collective identity work through partners’ orchestrating discursive resources involving a common sense of ‘we-ness’. The shifts between various states are driven by partners’ processes of negotiation, integration, solidification and reformation of collective identity. A deconstruction process may also emerge, giving rise to the termination of the collaborative relationship. Cultural issues are discursively used by organizational members to justify the states and processes of collective identity development. We discuss how these findings extend our understanding of ‘collective identity work’ among collaborating partners, and may improve effective management of the relationship dynamics in international collaborative settings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusUnpublished - 11 Aug 2015
    EventAcademy of Management Conference - British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
    Duration: 7 Aug 201511 Aug 2015


    ConferenceAcademy of Management Conference


    • collective identity
    • identity work
    • international collaboration
    • inter-organizational relationships
    • collaborative advantage


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