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Institutional Pressures and Organizational Identity: The Case of Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau in the GDR and Beyond, 1945-1996

Schreiter, K; Ravasi, D; (2018) Institutional Pressures and Organizational Identity: The Case of Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau in the GDR and Beyond, 1945-1996. Business History Review , 92 (3) pp. 453-481. 10.1017/S0007680518000776. Green open access

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Abstract

This article explores the case of Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau (DWH) - a furniture and interior manufacturer founded in 1898 - through state socialism after 1945 and reprivatization in the 1990s. Our analysis suggests that the firm's survival through multiple systemic disruptions was partly due to the preservation of a unique identity despite heavy institutional pressures for conformity. DWH adopted a "mixed conformity" strategy that attempted to pitch multiple concerns (cultural-aesthetic, ideological, economic) of political authorities against one another to buffer sociopolitical pressures, thus ultimately conforming to some (identity-consistent) demands, while violating other (identity-threatening) ones. This allowed DWH to successfully navigate tensions between sociopolitical expectations and the need to preserve a collective sense of distinctiveness and continuity over time.

Type: Article
Title: Institutional Pressures and Organizational Identity: The Case of Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau in the GDR and Beyond, 1945-1996
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0007680518000776
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1017/S0007680518000776
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: organizational identity, institutional pressures, sociopolitical legitimacy, conformity, product design, planned economy, GDR, Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10062439
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