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Corporate identity orientation and disorientation: A complexity theory perspective

Devereux, Luke; Melewar, T.C.; Dinnie, Keith; Lange, Thomas


Luke Devereux

T.C. Melewar

Keith Dinnie

Thomas Lange


The importance of corporate identity to organizations is increasing, which has led to the conceptualisation of corporate identity orientation. This paper challenges existing thinking by suggesting that if corporate identity orientation exists, so could corporate identity disorientation. Using a complexity theory perspective this conceptual paper explores how orientation/disorientation could emerge, and how the two could be related. The paper concludes that a combination of orientation and disorientation could be beneficial for corporate identity development, and that disorientation need not be wholly negative. This is relevant because the environment organizations find themselves in increasingly causes identity disorientation, so exploring this further helps address this crucial issue. As such, this paper opens new directions for researchers to look at corporate identity development, and also for practitioners to embrace elements of disorientation and how it may help unlock new opportunities.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 18, 2019
Online Publication Date Dec 27, 2019
Publication Date 2020-03
Deposit Date Nov 25, 2021
Journal Journal of Business Research
Print ISSN 0148-2963
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 109
Pages 413-424
Keywords Corporate identity, Complexity theory, Strategic orientation, Corporate identity orientation, Corporate identity disorientation
Public URL