Forces and Mechanisms of a 'Digital' Organizational Identity

Zoom Research Seminar / GF Forum

Past event — 29 August 2023

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Prof. Dr. Ricarda Bouncken

Lehrstuhl für Strategisches Management und Organisation

University of Bayreuth

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Digital matters in an organizational identity are increasingly shaping what is central, enduring, and distinctive to an organization. For developing a process model on which forces and mechanims build the digital in the organizational identity an “Organizational Digital Identity”, we connect the social actor and the social construction views of organizational identity theory (ODI). Using data from interviews and claims of incumbent firms at different points in time, we find that specifics of the firm’s claim-making represent the ODI and influence the sensemaking of employees. Besides, in a ‘stratified drift’ can bring impetus to ODI via top managers’ behavior and/or gradually facilitate it through digital transformation programs. Also, the ODI evolves in a social morphing process within islands of the organization that might eventually spread out through ‘lateral radiation’. ODI becomes more suffused through the organization when these process forces are recursively influencing behavior, programs, and claim making.


Ricarda Bouncken is from 2009 until today a Distinguished Professor of Strategic Management and Organization, University of Bayreuth, Germany. She received her PhD in 1997/1998 at the University St. Gallen, Switzerland, Institut for Business Administration, and the Habilitation 2001/2002 at the University of Lüneburg, Germany. After this, she worked as an Assistant professor at the University of Lüneburg, Germany, and in 2002/2003 as an Associate professor at the chair of ‘Organisation, HR, and Innovation’, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald, Germany. Before coming to Bayreuth, from 2003 to 2004, she was Head of chair (full professor) at the Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus, Germany for ‘Planning and Innovation Management’ and from 2004 to 2009 Head of the chair (full professor) for ‘Organisation, HR, and Innovation’ at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald. Her research centers on how strategic and organizational arrangements support innovation within and among firms. In this vein, she researches collaborative work-spaces (coworking-spaces) that host start-ups, corporates, and freelancers, partly operate as corporate venturing. Recent research covers digital innovation and its organizational underpinnings, e. g. digital identity and digital empowerment in firms. She is an Associate Editor of the European Management Journal, the Journal of Business Research, the Review of Managerial Science, and a member of several review boards. She has published more than 200 articles, in the Journal of Service Research, Journal of Business Research, Long Range Planning, British Journal of Management, Global Strategy Journal, and the Academy of Management Journal. In her spare time, she likes to ride her horses and even competed in horse tournaments.


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Bärbel Wegener

Assistant to Resident Faculty