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Managing the interactions between multiple identities in inter-organizational collaborations: an identity work perspective

Kourti, Isidora; Garcia-Lorenzo, Lucia and Yu, Ai (2018). Managing the interactions between multiple identities in inter-organizational collaborations: an identity work perspective. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 27(4) pp. 506–519.

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Inter-organizational collaboration (IOC) research considers the achievement of a collaborative identity as a key enabler of a successful collaboration. As a result, little has been said about the interactions between collaborative and non-collaborative identities. We build on narrative identity work and positioning theory, to explore how collaboration partners engage in identity work positioning to manage the interactions of the multiple identities emerging through the process of collaboration as they try to accomplish collaborative work. We illustrate this process through a qualitative longitudinal study of an educational partnership in Greece. Our analysis shows how IOC partners manage the interactions between collaborative and non-collaborative identities by positioning themselves, and others, in narratives of collaboration as part of their daily identity work when responding to emerging collaborative needs. Our research extends our current understanding of identity work processes in IOCs by demonstrating the paradoxical nature of the collaboration, which requires relying on both collaborative and non-collaborative identities for the successful achievement of aims. We therefore suggest that identity tensions should not be resolved but rather managed, since they enable partners to respond creatively to contextual organizational changes and make sense of the collaboration as it happens.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2018 Informa UK Limited
ISSN: 1464-0643
Keywords: collaborative identity; noncollaborative identities; identity interactions; identity work; narrative positioning; inter-organizational collaborations
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for Public Leadership and Social Enterprise
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 55574
SWORD Depositor: Jisc Publications-Router
Depositing User: Jisc Publications-Router
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2018 10:16
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2019 17:04
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