Does the individual identify with the organization and, if so, how does this identity manifest itself?

How do you understand who you are in relation to the organization?

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a small church in winter, from Aeon Magazine
Why, we wonder, and how, did revolutionary-era Americans choose to adopt a radical regime of religious freedom?
Their reasons did not rely on any idealistic consensus that religion must be separate from politics and instead owed everything to their deep suspicion of power in the hands of flawed humanity. Informed by centuries of European history, revolutionary-era Americans believed that governments empowered to coerce belief – long the common European practice – became tyrannical. History proved that, where religion was concerned, governments resorted to coercion. Consequently, to provide a barrier against tyranny, key American patriots believed that protecting religious freedom was vital.
But old ways died hard.

‘Here we are all the same’ by Richard D Brown, Aeon Magazine, 28 June 2017

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You don't have to read these unless you wish to, but we might touch upon them in conversation

airmen, making their lives better, far from home
Organizational members cognitively compare their identity perceptions and expectations, and the resulting level of identity congruence significantly affects their level of organizational commitment
  1. Foreman, P., & Whetten, D. A. (December 01, 2002). Members' Identification with Multiple-Identity Organizations. Organization Science, 13, 6, 618-635.

... the values inherent in a given identification may legitimately demand the conscious sacrifice of self-enhancement and even self-preservation for the sake of the larger entity or cause ... the wish to identify is nearly universal and that it can be beneficial. The caveat is that identification requires discernment and balance.
  1. Mael, F. A., & Ashforth, B. E. (June 01, 2001). Identification in Work, War, Sports, and Religion: Contrasting the Benefits and Risks. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 31, 2, 197-222.

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things we'll talk about

  • how do individuals perceive their organization?
  • how do individuals perceive their roles in their organization?
  • do different individuals perceive the same organization differently?
  • how does this influence organizational culture? does it become multi-dimensional?
  • how could individuals' identification with their organization influence their decisions to make ethical choices within that organization?

If the session will include an in-class exercise, it will be noted here.

slides for session 06

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something to take away

Staff Benda Bilili

Staff Benda Bilili and a comment from the Deutsche Welle item about them. The band's name Staff Benda Bilili roughly translates as "bring forth the invisible".

They call themselves "Staff Benda Bilili": eight musicians who all suffer from polio. Their instruments are homemade, and in some cases even invented by their players. They live outdoors on the streets of Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo and were brought together by their love of music and life, their wit and their musical talent. Now they are touring across Europe.

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