Identity Co‐Formation in an Emerging Industry: Forging Organizational Distinctiveness and Industry Coherence Through Sensemaking and Sensegiving

33 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2018

See all articles by Ileana Stigliani

Ileana Stigliani

Imperial College Business School

Kimberly Elsbach

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management

Date Written: December 2018

Abstract

We inductively studied the sensemaking and sensegiving processes used by industry founders in the co‐formation of organizational and industry identities in the emerging industry of Service Design. Our findings illustrate how the sensemaking and sensegiving processes that revolved around the new ‘Service Design’ label allowed the two sets of industry founders to forge both distinctive organizational identities and a coherent industry identity. The new label was, thus, used as a central ‘carrier’ for both holding meanings (in terms of distinctive principles and common practices) developed through sensemaking, and for transferring these meanings respectively to organizational and industry identities through sensegiving. These insights illuminate how industry founders can address the tension between organizational distinctiveness and industry coherence in emerging industries, and have important implications for theory and future research on identity co‐formation and its underlying sensemaking and sensegiving processes.

Keywords: identity formation, industry emergence, industry identity, labels, organizational identity, sensegiving, sensemaking

Suggested Citation

Stigliani, Ileana and Elsbach, Kimberly, Identity Co‐Formation in an Emerging Industry: Forging Organizational Distinctiveness and Industry Coherence Through Sensemaking and Sensegiving (December 2018). Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 55, Issue 8, pp. 1323-1355, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3281858 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joms.12403

Ileana Stigliani (Contact Author)

Imperial College Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Kimberly Elsbach

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States
530-752-0910 (Phone)

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