Managing Multiple Organizational Identities:
Evaluating Pratt and Foreman's Classification Model
Rol D. Erickson
The purpose of this project was three-fold: (a) to discover if empirical evidence could be obtained to support organization identity constructs, (b) to evaluate Pratt and Foreman's (2000) classification model for managing multiple organizational identities, and (c) to discover if theology could make a significant contribution to organizational identity studies. A qualitative approach was taken in a case study of an organization that was selected for its public reference to multiple organizational identities. Data were collected utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods. Multiple data sources included public and internal documents, direct observation, physical artifacts, interviews, and a constituent survey. Data from the constituent survey were used to evaluate the classification model that consisted of four potential leadership responses (deletion, compartmentalization, aggregation, and integration) correlating with plurality and synergy of multiple organizational identities. The constituent survey consisted of 31 questions. Questions were grouped according to six factors that correlated with potential leadership responses. Three factors (legitimacy, strategic value, and resources) addressed plural responses, and three factors (relationships, compatibility, and interdependence) addressed synergy responses. This study supported the organizational identity constructs used by Pratt and Foreman to develop their classification model. Results suggested that the model is reliable and valid. Data also suggested that theology can substantially contribute to organizational identity studies.
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