Collective Memory Meets Organizational Identity: Remembering to Forget in a Firm’s Rhetorical History

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Collective Memory Meets Organizational Identity: Remembering to Forget in a Firm’s Rhetorical History

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Title: Collective Memory Meets Organizational Identity: Remembering to Forget in a Firm’s Rhetorical History
Author: Anteby, Michel J.; Molnar, Virag

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Anteby, Michel, and Virag Molnar. "Collective Memory Meets Organizational Identity: Remembering to Forget in a Firm's Rhetorical History." Academy of Management Journal 55, no. 3 (June 2012): 515–540.
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Abstract: Much organizational identity research has grappled with the question of identity emergence or change. Yet the question of identity endurance is equally puzzling. Relying primarily on the analysis of 309 internal bulletins produced at a French aeronautics firm over almost fifty years, we theorize a link between collective memory and organizational identity endurance. More specifically, we show how forgetting in a firm's ongoing rhetorical history-here, the bulletins' repeated omission of contradictory elements in the firm's past (i.e., structural omission) or attempts to neutralize them with valued identity cues (i.e., preemptive neutralization)-sustains its identity. Thus knowing "who we are" might depend in part on repeatedly remembering to forget "who we were not."
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9353293

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