Fluidity, Identity, and Organizationality: The Communicative Constitution of Anonymous

31 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2015

See all articles by Leonhard Dobusch

Leonhard Dobusch

Department of Organization and Learning

Dennis Schoeneborn

University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology; Copenhagen Business School - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management

Date Written: December 2015

Abstract

This paper examines how fluid social collectives, where membership is latent, contested, or unclear, achieve ‘organizationality’, that is, how they achieve organizational identity and actorhood. Drawing on the “communicative constitution of organizations” perspective, we argue that the organizationality of a social collective is accomplished through ‘identity claims’ – i.e., speech acts that concern what the social collective is or does – and negotiations on whether or not these claims have been made on the collective's behalf. We empirically examine the case of the hacker collective Anonymous and analyse relevant identity claims to investigate two critical episodes in which the organizationality of Anonymous was contested. Our study contributes to organization studies by showing that fluid social collectives are able to temporarily reinstate organizational actorhood through the performance of carefully prepared and staged identity claims.

Keywords: anonymous, communicative constitution of organizations, fluidity, identity claim analysis, organizationality, organizational identity

Suggested Citation

Dobusch, Leonhard and Schoeneborn, Dennis, Fluidity, Identity, and Organizationality: The Communicative Constitution of Anonymous (December 2015). Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 52, Issue 8, pp. 1005-1035, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2685953 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joms.12139

Leonhard Dobusch (Contact Author)

Department of Organization and Learning ( email )

Universitätsstraße 15
Innsbruck, Innsbruck 6020
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uibk.ac.at/iol/index.html.en

Dennis Schoeneborn

University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zürich, 8032
Switzerland

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management ( email )

Porcelænshaven 18A
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
0
Abstract Views
339
PlumX Metrics