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7 dimensions of Organization Identity

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

Are you working in an organization? or a part of any organization?

If yes, do you have any idea about the Identity of your organization?

Do organizations also have an identity?


Every Organization has a unique identity, called Organization Identity. Organizational Identity is a field of study in organizational theory, that seeks the answer to the question: Who are we as an organization?

Do you know the answer?

Entrepreneurs, esp. early-stage entrepreneurs, need to understand the concept. And need to work on their Organization Identity, as a positive identity reflects on your market position. In other words, every founder, startup owner, and must have a positive organizational identity for a strong and sustainable market presence.

Yes, many times, one may need to change or shift from the original organization identity, to be accepted, listened to, and engaged with. Be sure, while shifting from the original identity, maybe because of targeting customers, or entering a new market segment, you are not giving cause to rise " ambiguous identity ". Ambiguous identity affects performance and results in a waste of time and energy.

Albert and Whetten (1985) define organizational identity as a set of statements that organization members perceive to be central, distinctive, and enduring to their organization. The definition reveals three critical criteria: centrality, distinctiveness, and durability.

Organization Identity is not something genetic, safe, and secure. It is shaped by history and culture, nourished by the team efforts, which defines the future. It is about group feeling, which can be wide and inclusive. Identity is always in the making and never made.

To find the answer to Who are we as an organization?, we need to understand the "core dimensions" of Organization Identity, as it is a multidimensional concept.

Let us list down the different dimensions :

1. Needs: It is the basic motivation for an organization's actions.

Examples: growth, market position, security, etc.

2. Competencies: Understand your uniqueness. It defines the special skills & competitive advantages of the organization.

3. Attitude: It gives an idea about the philosophical & social background of the organization.

4. Constitution: It serves the physical, structural, and legal space in which the company operates.

5. Temperament: How an organization operates/ fails to operate. Describes the company’s strength, intensity, speed, emotional tone.

6. Origin: the relationship between present personality & past personality. Which attributes have the company shaped in the past?

7. Interest: What the organization wants to do in the future? All these core dimensions can be achieved with a focused planned approach, with the number of internal and external inputs and continuous research.

Organization Identity cannot be created in a day or night. The consistent, systematic, focused approach of a hardworking team, based on the expansion equations, makes it possible, over a period of time.

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