Research Seminar || WiSe 2018/19 || Sébastien MENA (Cass Business School London)
Sébastien MENA, Cass Business School London: "BACK TO THE (SUSTAINABLE) FUTURE? TEMPORALITY IN ORGANIZATIONAL IDENTITY WORK"
Date and Time: Tuesday, October 30th, 2018; 16.00-19.00
Scholars have started paying increasing attention to the role of temporality in organizational identity processes. However, previous research has mainly focused on how leaders leverage the past, present, and future to instigate change or provide stability in their organization’s identity. In this paper, we take a cultural and emergent approach to organizational identity work and explore how organizational members reference temporality when negotiating organizational identity claims made by management. Building on an ethnographic study of a small sustainable bank in Europe, we show that members leverage the present and future when embracing their organization’s identity. However, members also breach this identity by exposing perceived misalignments between the present reality and the projected future identity of the organization. Members repair the consequent dissonance by breaking with some past elements of the organizational identity and rationalizing present practices in order to project a more certain future. With these findings, we contribute a nuanced understanding of how members, in their organizational identity work, leverage different temporal registers through ongoing cycles of identity embracing, breaching and repairing. Moreover, we contribute important insights into a growing interest in ‘future oriented’ organizations who seek to create substantial change in society.
Sébastien Mena is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Management at Cass Business School, City, University of London. Prior to joining Cass, Sébastien was a post-doctoral fellow in strategic management and organization at the Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta. He received his PhD from the Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC), University of Lausanne. Sébastien is interested in change and stability in the interactions between business and society, around issues of corporate responsibility, governance and sustainability. He currently examines how firms interact with civil society in several research projects, notably on the social impact of sustainability in developing countries, on the role of temporality in sustainable banking, and on how we collectively remember and forget corporate (ir)responsibility.
Sébastien’s research has been published in outlets such as the Academy of Management Review, Human Relations and the Journal of Management Studies. He has received multiple awards for his research, such as a Finalist for Best Paper Award from the Academy of Management Review and the Best Sustainability Paper Award from the SIM division of the Academy of Management. Sébastien sits on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Learning & Education, Academy of Management Review, Business & Society, and Business Ethics Quarterly. His service has been recognized multiple times by Best Reviewer Awards at these journals.