Throughout I will draw upon the appropriate case

Throughout
this essay I will aim to form an understanding of how identity can be both positively
and negatively utilised as a form of Organisational Control through critical
discussion. I will draw upon the appropriate case studies and theories which
will be used to form an argument as to the impact and extent to which identity
can truly be used as a form of Organisational Control, as well as critically evaluated
and commented upon. I will conclude having taken all the applicable and
appropriate information into consideration as to the extent to which Organisational
Control can be shaped and influenced by identity.

As to
have a full and comprehensive understanding of Identity as a form of
Organisation Control it is imperative to make distinctions between certain
terms, in this case between “identity” and “personality.” Personality according
to Kenny et al. (2011) is defined as the integration of characteristics
patterns of thoughts, emotions and behaviours, which in most cases are constant
throughout a majority of adult life, that form the unique character of an individual.
It is the constant nature of personality which separates it from identity, which
Kitay and Wright, (2007) believe can change throughout an individual’s lifespan
influenced by social and cultural external factors. In many cases there can be
seen an aspiration to possess and associate with numerous identities, it is
this belief in holding many identities at once which allows people to associate
themselves with their occupation even if it contradicts their identity outside
of work, (Kitay and Wright, 2007). Kenny (2011) takes this a step further into
collective culture which can be seen to be in play within many organisations,
with the emergence of a consistent narrative of homogenous corporate culture.

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Identity
is often defined in unique manner within theoretical perspectives dependant on
the research being conducted, and in many cases within organisations is even
used as a label. Social Identity Theory as proposed by Henri Tajfel and John
Turner (Year) put forward the idea that individuals as a rule of thumb use
their own experiences to self-identify themselves within certain social circles
and to dissociate themselves from other groups which they deem less desirable
(Mattewman, 2009). Put simply they over-stress diversities with an undesired out-group
and underrate diversities within a desirable in-group (O’Conner and Annison,
2002). An individual is most likely to want to interact and socialise with
someone which they perceive themselves to share many similar characteristics
with such as age, social class, and religion, Kenny (2011) calls this idea
homo-sociability. Brewis (2004) and Zuboff (1988) brought to light Foucauldian
perspective which states that individuals generally prefer to identify with the
sounds of thought or dominant discourses. It is when viewed through the lense
of this perspective that “subjectivity” assumes a powerful role in moulding individual
identities within society. In many ways stereotypes can be seen as an illustrative
example of Foucauldian perspective, when we look at the world of management,
especially high level management there appears to be a homogeny of individuals sharing
similar characteristic, generally white men, this happens due to cognitive dissonance
and cultural norms (Kanter, 1977). Main theorists within this symbolic interactionism
perspective are Goffman (1969) and Mead (1934). Goffman (1969) sees identity as
a ‘continuing process of managing how we present ourselves to others,’ while
Mead (1934) comments on sees that people constitute a distinction between “I”
and “Me,” with “I” representing the behaviours and attitudes we use when
interacting with others, and “Me” relating to how we believe we are perceived by
others. Gardner and Avolio, (1998) observe the similarities between the two
theories in that they both highlight that we build our own self-awareness
around our social interactions with other people. The theories which I have
mentioned up to this point approach surrounding identity lay the framework for
more in-depth research to be conducted into both “control” and “identity.” It
is evident that management theorists and researchers need to view identity from
many different perspectives within our society so that best guarantee that the
principles of equality and diversity are upheld within the field of
organisational management.

Puusa et
al (2006) believes that identity is a multidimensional concept that can be
developed at individual, group and organizational level. There has in recent
years  been growing curiosity with regard
to understanding organisational control through the lense of identity. Kenny
(2011) writes , ‘the significance of identity was not simply recognized by
management, it was identified as something that could be shaped and controlled
by management.’ As far back as Taylor in 1911 identity can be seen to be being
viewed from an organisational and management perspective. Rose (1988) notes
that Taylor saw an individual’s identity as an obstacle which stands in the way
of scientific management. This is due to the fact that Taylor believed that the
one and only way to effectively motivate individuals to do work was through a
monetary means. Taylor believed that an individual should sacrifice their notion
of self-identity as to best fit into the different management models which may
be required of them. (Kenny, 2011). In the context of the time and at the lower
level of the workforce hierarchy this idea seems to stand with relative merit.
The reason that workers were seen to battle and not conform to this model of “scientific
management” was to the fact that they held the idea of being part of a group in
higher regard then the monetary reward which Taylor deemed to be the only true
drive to work. (Kenny, 2011). From this it can be taken that meaningful work
can be deemed as a main driver of performance and motivation and that the idea
of belonging to a group collective within a work environment is a key motivator
in the factors which encourage people to work. This conclusion coincides with
the beliefs of many theorists within the “human relation movement” such as Alderfer’s
Relatedness Existence theories and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, in that
identity cannot be separated or viewed as irrelevant by organisational management
studies. It is agreed  by the theorists
mentioned above that workers are not just motivated by monetary gain but  also by social and emotional factors which
come from belonging to a group (Ross, 1988; Buchanan and Huczynski, 2004). It
is through this extended look at workers as humans with human motivations  that stimulates employees to work with both enthusiasm
and passion and  that results in
employees “going the extra mile” within an organization (Alvesson and Willmott,
2002). It is because of this that it can be said that identity is the key to
the engine that drives employees’ motivation within a firm. This can be seen to
be backed up by Alvesson and Willmott (2002, p. 621) who state  that identity is definitely ‘a significant,
neglected and increasingly important modality of organizational control’.