"Being a construction worker": Identity effects as a self-reinforcing mechanism in construction
Paper in proceedings, 2012
The interplay between identity and behaviour has been well documented in the literature, but how identity and organizational life relate warrants future research. This paper draws on data from an ongoing longitudinal case study in a large construction company in order to examine how the “self” interacts with the organizational cultural capital. Our results indicate that there exists a strong collective identity that permeates the members of the organization regardless of role, position, and function. We claim that the effect of this strong collective identity is at the heart of an organizational self-reinforcing mechanism that can explain specific traits of organizational life in construction. We conclude by arguing that the identify effect could result in a problematic contradiction between operational “best practices” and strategic “best practices” in construction.