No past - no future: the political advantages of an ever-present organizational identity
In this paper we contend that the temporal elements of organizational identity serve to both constrain and enable an organization's ability to act. We support this thesis through an analysis of the identities of, and the relationships between, a front organization and its membe organizations during a major societal debate. In undertaking this research we identified a significant gap in the organizational identity literature in relation to temporary organizations, including front organizations; a gap which this study begins to address. We argue that by existing only in what we term a 'packaged present' and by maintaining a strategically ambiguous relationship with their members, front organizations are able to resolve the identity-related constraints on societal action experienced by other types of organizations.
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