Me, We and Them: Complexity in Employee and Organizational Identity Narration

Trine Susanne Johansen


Organizational and individual identities are well-established research areas. One strand of research argues in favor of applying narrative as a theoretical lens for exploring organizational and individual identity. Rooted in a narrative conceptualization, the purpose of this study is to analyze and discuss how employees at a dairy cooperative simultaneously construct their individual identities and the identity of their organization. Based on observations of employees’ narrative practices as they story the cooperative to an external audience, the different positions assigned by employees to themselves and the organization are explored. The exploration sheds light on how the interplay between individual and organizational identities manifests as part of everyday narrative practice. The study thus contributes with insight into the complex nature of identity construction and argues that if the identity construction of individual and organization is to be fully understood, we have to explore them as separate, yet inseparable, entities.


organizational and employee identity; identification; narrative

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