Customer Reviews


3 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect handbook for students of organizations and management, 29 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Understanding Identity and Organizations (Paperback)
This is a perfect handbook for students of organizations and management (undergrads and post grads alike) setting out the main theoretical perspectives and themes in relation to identity.
The comparison of six main theoretical perspectives in chapter 2 is invaluable in helping to locate and assimilate the key concepts on identity. Over just a few pages there's a summary of the main assumptions and methodological approach for each perspective - providing a sound base on which to develop the methodology section of an assignment or dissertation.
The gap between theory and practical application is neatly bridged throughout with the use of mini case-studies carried out in a variety of workplaces and settings. The suggested reading at the end of each chapter is particularly useful in signposting you towards the main authors and texts for particular topics. I found the `Thinkpoints' helpful for expanding my thinking and analysis of certain themes and for developing areas for inclusion in my written work.
This is a book which you can easily dip in and out of - I've already come back to it a few times to pick up different themes and to read more on certain topics. Overall it's interesting, easy to read, reasonably priced and well worth the money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent buy, 2 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Understanding Identity and Organizations (Paperback)
Understanding Identity and Organizations is a much needed resource to help undergraduate and postgraduate students navigate their way through what is often regarded as a complex and varied literature. Beyond the student population, it usefully provides an up to date review of different strands of the field of identity studies (although its intention is not to be exhaustive) and it is presented in a way that is entirely comprehensible, accessible, and dare I say enjoyable.

In order to achieve this simplicity among complexity, the book is divided into eight chapters, all of which are woven together in a coherent narrative which is delightfully understandable, although by no means condescending or patronising. Each chapter employs a similarly successful formula using clear heading, subheadings, cartoons, and `case points' - mini case studies to illustrate important ideas or concepts. At the end of each chapter there is a list for suggested reading, and sometimes tasks to be undertaken. There are also some potential exam/assignment questions to ponder on, for example `compare and contrast social identity theory and Foucauldian perspectives on identity'.

The book begins with an introduction to identity with the authors constructing a useful table which delineates it from the concept of personality. This effectively establishes the authors' views of identity as a concept which is more usefully viewed sociologically than psychologically. The book is also quick to argue for the importance of identity in the working environment, and in organizations, since it is especially relevant to those studying management as well as for applied social scientists.

Chapter two tackles the thorny issue of viewing identity from a number of theoretical perspectives: Social identity; Psychoanalytic; Foucauldian; Symbolic interactionist; Narrative and Micr-interactionist theory. The authors analyse a fictional case study of `Frances' by deploying these diverse frameworks. This works well although as the authors admit the boundaries of the theoretical perspectives are not always clear cut.

Chapter three introduces ideas around diversity and identity with a focus on age, ethnicity, sexuality and gender. Whilst the chapter relates these ideas to unequal power relations, gender is a topic which is given slightly more attention than others throughout the book and used to illustrate certain points.

Chapter four provides a main focus on `occupational' identities and incorporates a focus on managers, professionals and also `tainted' identities for those whose work is deemed `dirty' by society. This chapter is refreshing since it allows organizational scholars access to and commentary on a very specific but highly relevant literature linking work with identity. Since the notion of multiple identities is also introduced in this chapter, the authors wisely question whether we can really compartmentalise peoples' identities in this way as our working identities depend on and are linked to many other areas of our lives.

Chapter five is more explicitly critical in its discourse as it examines the way that identity is amenable to manipulation by organizations and is therefore another means by which employees can be controlled. It also explores ideas about ethics, organizational identification (and dis-identification) and exploitation. This chapter also relates to culture, and provokes the reader into reflecting on the importance of how they dress at work, and how and why organizations may attempt to control this `personal' aspect of who we are.

In chapter six we are invited to think about the extent to which organizations (a collective entity) can have an identity. This leads to a discussion about brand, images, and reputation and also touches on issues of power whereby organizations may attempt to `manage meaning' about their own identity, in ways that are never politically neutral.

In the penultimate chapter identity is viewed through the prism of `virtuality', and it discusses the impact of technology and social networking on our sense of who we are and how we act. Foucauldian ideas of the panoptican are employed to explain surveillance techniques and how technology can never be deployed in `neutral' ways.

The book ends with a thought provoking chapter which discusses the future of identity studies in relation to a number of critical themes such as the changing nature of the workplace, flexibility and the meaning of work for our own sense of who we are, and importantly, who we could become.

This book is a well written, thoughtful, thorough and tidy text and it will be a constant companion and compass for any student who is studying this field. Talking of identity though, the book is about much more than this as its title indicates; it is not identity in organizations but identity and organizations. The text is strongly embedded within a critical perspective which views identity as inexplicably linked to issues of power, control and unequal power relations in society generally, and in organizations more specifically. Don't let this put you off though since it prevents it from being a functional or managerialist text, and enables it to be deliberately thought provoking and challenging in its purpose.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Understanding Identity and Organizations (Paperback)
Really good book that is clear and great to teach with and learn from.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Understanding Identity and Organizations
Understanding Identity and Organizations by Hugh Willmott (Paperback - 1 Dec. 2011)
£25.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews