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Evolving Museum Identities and Paradoxical Response Strategies to Identity Challenges and Ambiguities: Changing Ethical Understandings in the Handling of Human Remains

Di Domenico, M (2015) Evolving Museum Identities and Paradoxical Response Strategies to Identity Challenges and Ambiguities: Changing Ethical Understandings in the Handling of Human Remains Journal of Management Inquiry.

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Abstract

There has been little research into how organizations modify their identities in response to the various ethical and cultural changes that occur in wider society. This qualitative investigation of recent museum approaches to handling human remains is situated within a critique of “museum identity” dynamics in history, archaeological, and science museums in the U.K. public sector. The theoretical framework encapsulates various paradoxes inherent in museum response strategies to such identity challenges. This study reveals the discursive practices museums use to legitimate and privilege their historical identities, while simultaneously engaging with different alternative identities in processes defined here as “organizational sensitivization.” These involve either amalgamating identity challenges or diffusing them, usually by means of open dialogue. Those challenges perceived to be identity threats are marginalized by the museums to protect their articulated identities through engagement in self-legitimization processes. This can leave museums with paradoxically unresolved tensions and identity ambiguities.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Di Domenico, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 17 February 2015
Identification Number : 10.1177/1056492615569885
Additional Information : Published in JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT INQUIRY 2015. Copyright 2015 Sage Publications.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 03 Mar 2015 10:23
Last Modified : 03 Mar 2015 14:33
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/807270

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