This paper defines organizational identity (OI) as an objective, observable configuration of four enduring, central, and distinctive components answering four foundational questions: why (purpose), who (people), what (core business), and how (operating principles). The origins of OI are explored, as are the ways in which organizational members relate to it. Forces of convergence and divergence in and among its components shape the dynamics of OI. We contend that the extent to which identity changes depends on the balance of power between these forces.
BOUCHIKHI, H. and KIMBERLY, J. (1998). In Search of Substance: Content and Dynamics of Organizational Identity. ESSEC Business School.