PUBLICATIONS

Below is a list of my publications with links to PDFs and abstracts.

Anti-identity strategizing: The dynamic interplay of “who we are” and “who we are not” (joint work with Sarah Stanske and Anna Canato)

In this article, we investigate the strategy–identity nexus by illustrating the interaction between organizational identity, anti-identity, and strategy. While extant research illustrates the potentially constraining role of organizational identity on change trajectories, less is known about the role of organizational anti-identity. Drawing on a qualitative case study of a leading German distributor’s 32-year history, we highlight the importance of organizational anti-identity for both continuous and discontinuous change initiatives, and illustrate how organizational members can overcome identity ambiguity by referring to “who we are not as an organization” rather than to “who we are as an organization.” We further show how managers who draw on identity reservoirs may have greater leeway when exploiting anti-identity, and how ambiguity and resistance may be overcome by referring to “who we are not” as an organization. Our findings broaden our understanding of the role of anti-identity for strategy selection and contribute to the burgeoning literature on the strategy–identity nexus.

STRATEGIC ORGANIZATION, 2020

(Un)Mind the gap: How organizational actors cope with an identity–strategy misalignment (joint work with Matthias Wenzel, Joep Cornelissen, Jochen Koch & Michael Hartmann)

In this article, we explore how organizational actors cope with a perceived misalignment between their organization’s identity and strategy. Based on an inductive, interpretive case study at a public broadcasting organization, we identify three cognitive tactics through which organizational members cope with an identity–strategy misalignment: contextualization, abstraction, and fatalism. Furthermore, we show that the enactment of these cognitive coping tactics coincides with specific strategy-related tasks that prioritize different aspects of an organization’s identity and, therefore, invokes different conceptions of the identity–strategy misalignment. Based on these findings, we develop a framework that conceptualizes how organizational members cope with an identity–strategy misalignment. We end the article by discussing the implications of our study for further research on the linkages between organizational identity and strategy.

JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT STUDIES, 2021

From "Publish or Perish' to Societal Impact: Organizational Repurposing towards Responsible Innovation through creating a medical platform (joint work with Shaz Ansari)

Why would an academic project incentivised towards scientific publications be repurposed to become a medical platform for responsible innovation? Patient Innovation, a non-profit medical platform that focuses on the sharing and dissemination of innovations to find solutions for rare and chronic diseases, was initially set up as an academic research project. However, team members reframed their core purpose from conducting research on user innovation to providing global access to these innovations and creating societal impact. Using a framing lens to understand organisational repurposing, we illuminate how serendipitous inspiration, moral emotions and the power of socially conscious users and catalysts drove this emergent reframing of core purpose and develop a model of organisational repurposing. We show how a frame drift towards a change in purpose occurs spontaneously in interactions, as actors frame and reframe situations and feel inspired and morally motivated to transcend their immediate self-interests and serve collective goals.

RESEARCH IN THE SOCIOLOGY OF ORGANIZATIONS, 2021

Diaries as a methodological invention for the study of grand challenges (joint work with Shaz Ansari)

In this article, we illustrate the potential of diaries for advancing scholarship on organization studies and grand challenges. Writing personal diaries is a time-honored and culturally sanctioned way of animating innermost thoughts and feelings, and embodying experiences through self-talk with famous examples, such as the diaries written by Anne Frank, Andy Warhol, or Thomas Mann. However, the use of diaries has long been neglected in organization studies, despite their historical and societal importance. We illustrate how different forms of analyzing diaries provide important insights and enable a “deep analysis of individuals’ internal processes and practices” (Radcliffe, 2016) – which cannot be gleaned from other sources of data such as interviews and observations. Diaries exist in different forms, such as “unsolicited diaries” and “solicited diaries” and have different purposes. We evaluate how analyzing diaries can be a valuable source to shed light on the innermost thoughts and feelings of people at the forefront of grand challenges. To exemplify our arguments, we draw on diaries written by medical professionals working for Doctors Without Borders as part of our empirical research project conducted in extreme contexts. We show the value of unsolicited diaries in revealing people’s thought world, that is not apprehensible from other modes of communication, and offer a set of practical guidelines on working with data from diaries. Diaries serve to enrich our methodological toolkit by capturing what people think and feel behind the scenes but may not express nor display in public.

STRATEGIC ORGANIZATION, 2020

Anti-identity strategizing: The dynamic interplay of “who we are” and “who we are not” (joint work with Sarah Stanske and Anna Canato)

In this article, we investigate the strategy–identity nexus by illustrating the interaction between organizational identity, anti-identity, and strategy. While extant research illustrates the potentially constraining role of organizational identity on change trajectories, less is known about the role of organizational anti-identity. Drawing on a qualitative case study of a leading German distributor’s 32-year history, we highlight the importance of organizational anti-identity for both continuous and discontinuous change initiatives, and illustrate how organizational members can overcome identity ambiguity by referring to “who we are not as an organization” rather than to “who we are as an organization.” We further show how managers who draw on identity reservoirs may have greater leeway when exploiting anti-identity, and how ambiguity and resistance may be overcome by referring to “who we are not” as an organization. Our findings broaden our understanding of the role of anti-identity for strategy selection and contribute to the burgeoning literature on the strategy–identity nexus.

STRATEGIC ORGANIZATION, 2020

(Un)Mind the gap: How organizational actors cope with an identity–strategy misalignment (joint work with Matthias Wenzel, Joep Cornelissen, Jochen Koch & Michael Hartmann)

In this article, we explore how organizational actors cope with a perceived misalignment between their organization’s identity and strategy. Based on an inductive, interpretive case study at a public broadcasting organization, we identify three cognitive tactics through which organizational members cope with an identity–strategy misalignment: contextualization, abstraction, and fatalism. Furthermore, we show that the enactment of these cognitive coping tactics coincides with specific strategy-related tasks that prioritize different aspects of an organization’s identity and, therefore, invokes different conceptions of the identity–strategy misalignment. Based on these findings, we develop a framework that conceptualizes how organizational members cope with an identity–strategy misalignment. We end the article by discussing the implications of our study for further research on the linkages between organizational identity and strategy.

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