Identity, institutions, and new work roles: The case of a green field automotive factory

Gerardo Patriotta, Giovan Francesco Lanzara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (SciVal)


In this article, the authors draw on institutional theories of organizations to account for the dynamics that shape workers' agency and identity during the construction and the operation of a green field automotive factory. Based on a detailed field study, they try to understand the mechanisms that first led to the rise and institutionalization of a specific model of workers' identity and then caused its subsequent, largely unexpected, collapse. In addressing the link between identity and institutions, the case emphasizes the regulative and constitutive influences of institutions, the role of sense making and cognitive processes in shaping workers' agency and identity, and the factors leading to the erosion of established institutional practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-999
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2006


  • Automotive industry
  • Green field
  • Institutions
  • Sense making
  • Work roles
  • Workers' identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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