Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Quest for Cognitive Legitimacy:Organizational Identity Crafting and Internal Stakeholder Support Journal of Change Management 12, 2 (2012)

Securing the support of internal stakeholders is a fundamental organizational pursuit, one that is especially difficult during periods of organizational change. One reason for this difficulty is that employees’ conceptions of the organization’s identity do not correspond with managers’ desired images for the future organization. Consequently, employees view new organizational endeavours as having little cognitive legitimacy. The current work presents a conceptual framework for understanding the extent to which employees’ conceptions of organizational identity can be transformed by managerial communication strategies. We argue that the transformation of employees’ conceptions of organizational identity depends on managers using communication strategies that are unique to the distinctive legitimacy management domain of gaining cognitive legitimacy from internal stakeholders. We refer to the relevant set of strategies as organizational identity crafting and explore the mechanisms through which organizational identity crafting may transform organizational identity.