The Development of Corporate Identity: A Political Perspective

Suzana Rodrigues, John Child

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


A corporate identity denotes a set of attributes that senior managers ascribe to their organization. It is therefore an organizational identity articulated by a powerful interest group. It can constitute a claim which serves inter alia to justify the authority vested in top managers and to further their interests. The academic literature on organizational identity, and on corporate identity in particular, pays little attention to these political considerations. It focuses in an apolitical manner on shared meanings when corporate identity works, or on cognitive dissonance when it breaks down. In response to this analytical void, we develop a political analysis of corporate identity and its development, using as illustration a longitudinal study of successive changes in the corporate identity of a Brazilian telecommunications company. This suggests a cyclical model in which corporate identity definition and redefinition involve power relations, resource mobilization and struggles for legitimacy. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2007.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-911
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management


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