Corporate identity orientation and disorientation: A complexity theory perspective

Luke Devereux, T. C. Melewar, Keith Dinnie, Thomas Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
197 Downloads (Pure)


The importance of corporate identity to organizations is increasing, which has led to the conceptualisation of corporate identity orientation. This paper challenges existing thinking by suggesting that if corporate identity orientation exists, so could corporate identity disorientation. Using a complexity theory perspective this conceptual paper explores how orientation/disorientation could emerge, and how the two could be related. The paper concludes that a combination of orientation and disorientation could be beneficial for corporate identity development, and that disorientation need not be wholly negative. This is relevant because the environment organizations find themselves in increasingly causes identity disorientation, so exploring this further helps address this crucial issue. As such, this paper opens new directions for researchers to look at corporate identity development, and also for practitioners to embrace elements of disorientation and how it may help unlock new opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-424
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date27 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Complexity theory
  • Corporate identity
  • Corporate identity disorientation
  • Corporate identity orientation
  • Strategic orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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